Endangered Black Rhino Calf Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Black rhino calf

The healthy male black rhino calf at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photos by Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

The Lincoln Park Zoo happily welcomed the birth of a critically-endangered black rhinoceros calf on August 26. The male calf weighed in at 60 pounds.

“Mother and baby are both doing wonderfully,” said Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “The calf divides his time between nursing, following mom around, and napping, and that is exactly what a baby rhino should be doing.”

With only 5,000 black rhinos alive in the wild, the species is considered at high risk of extinction. They are threatened primarily by poachers, who kill the rhinos for their horns. In some cultures, black rhino horns are considered very valuable for medicinal purposes.

The Lincoln Park Zoo worked hard to conserve this species through the Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, an initiative of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Black rhino mother and calf

Mother Kapuki and her calf will be bonding behind the scenes for the next couple of weeks.

“This birth is cause for great celebration here at Lincoln Park Zoo and has been much anticipated” said Kamhout. “The gestational period for rhinos is 15-16 months, and they have incredibly small windows for conception. Together with the zoo’s endocrinologists, we worked to pinpoint the exact window for Kapuki and Maku to get together for breeding. The whole zoo family is delighted at this successful outcome.”

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Giant Anteater Pup at Nashville Zoo

Giant anteater baby

The newest giant anteater pup at the Nashville Zoo. Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Nashville Zoo welcomed a baby giant anteater on July 17. Both the mother and baby are bonding in the off-exhibit giant anteater barn. “We now have 15 giant anteaters at Nashville Zoo which is the largest collection in North America,” says Rick Schwartz, Zoo President.

Giant anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the giant anteater as vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting.

Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon at Lincoln Park Zoo

White cheeked gibbons

White-cheeked gibbon mother, Burma, nurses her infant at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

On August 16, the Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed a rare white-cheeked gibbon baby. Zoo keepers have not determined the gender of the newborn yet or given the little tyke a name.

“Burma is holding the baby close and showing every sign of being a great mom,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “The youngster is bright, alert, and clinging well.”

Unlike other primates who raise offspring communally in groups, white-cheeked gibbon mothers are the primary caretakers of their babies. When the baby gets older, he or she will darken from tan to black in the first two years. If the gibbon is a male, he will remain black. If the gibbon is female, her fur will eventually turn back to tan.

In the wild, white-cheeked gibbons inhabit southeast Asia. They are endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.


A video of mother Burma with her newborn at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Video credit: Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo.

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

Endangered Pond Turtles Released to the Wild

Western pond turtles

Endangered western pond turtles about to be released to the wild. Photo credits: Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife released over a hundred endangered western pond turtles to their native habitat in an effort to restore the population.

Western pond turtles once commonly inhabited the western coast of the United States. But several threats, including predation by the non-native bullfrog, disease, and habitat loss, put them on the bring of extinction since the early 90s.

In 1991, the Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project was established. Each year, recovery workers monitor adult female western pond turtles during the nesting season. They protect nesting sites with wire cages to prevent predators from eating the eggs. Then in the fall, the eggs and hatchlings are transported to the Woodland Park and Oregon Zoos where they can grow in safety.

“We return the turtles to their homes every summer once they reach a suitable size of about 2 ounces, a safeguard against the large mouths of bullfrogs,” explained Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, Woodland Park Zoo’s reptile curator.

Western pond turtle being released

Over a hundred western pond turtles were released to the wild by the Woodland Park Zoo and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Photo by Kirsten Pisto.

For more photos, see the Woodland Park Zoo’s blog.

Bonobo Baby Face!

Memphis Zoo keeper Sandi Shoemaker captured this moment with Mobali, a three-month-old baby bonobo.

Bonobo baby up close

Closeup of baby Mobali, a bonobo at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Sandi Shoemaker / Memphis Zoo.

Learn more about Mobali’s birth on our blog. You can also learn more about bonobos at our bonobo facts article.

World Lion Day

Today, August 10, is World Lion Day!

Lioness with cubs

Here are five facts about lions:

  • The lion is the second largest cat in the world. (The tiger is slightly bigger.)
  • Lions spend 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting.
  • Female lions are the primary hunters of the pride.
  • Lions can go 4-5 days without drinking by obtaining moisture from the stomach contents of their prey.
  • Lions once roamed most of Africa and into parts of Asia and Europe. Now around 20,000-30,000 of these big cats live in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in protected reserves.

If you would like to help lions, there are several things you can do. You can help save lions by writing a Letter to Lions that will be shared with African leaders. Share why lions are important to you and include a drawing if you like. You can also donate to charities like National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, Panthera’s Project Leonardo, or the African Wildlife Foundation.

To learn more about lions, read our Lion Facts article.

Tallest Baby in Seattle Born

A giraffe calf was born recently at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Photo by Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo.

A giraffe calf was born recently at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Photo by Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington welcomed a male baby giraffe on August 6. The newborn calf is already 6 feet tall and weighs 144 pounds. When fully grown, he should reach 18 feet tall!

For more photos and videos, see the Woodland Park Zoo’s blog.

To learn more about giraffes, see our Giraffe Facts article.

Francois’ Langur Baby at the Lincoln Park Zoo

A bright orange baby monkey was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 11. Although born with vivid orange fur, this type of monkey, called a Francois’ langur, will gradually turn black after 3-6 months.

Francois langur baby

“Pumpkin is a great mom, and she has been bonding well with her new infant,” said Lead Keeper of Primates Bonnie Jacobs, who is also the vice coordinator of the Francois’ langur Species Survival Program (SSP). “The other three females in the group have already started helping out.”

Francois’ langurs rely on alloparenting, in which other females in the family take turns caring for the offspring. The other females benefit from the experience when they become mothers in the future.

Happy Hippos at the Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo welcomed Binti to join their hippo family. Binti is 15 years old and previously lived in Disney’s Wild Kingdom. She will share an enclosure with Splish, a 25 year old female.

BintiandSplish

Binti

For more about hippos, read our article.

For more information, visit the Memphis Zoo website.

Giraffe born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Giraffe calf
Mother Tulli and father Unami welcomed their new calf on Wednesday, June 19. The yet-to-be named calf is the seventh baby his mother has given birth to.

After only one hour the calf was on his feet and feeding. In one day he was on exhibit with the other giraffes. Talk about a fast grower!

For more, visit Taronga Zoo.
To learn more about giraffes, visit our Giraffe Fact page.