My Petting Zoo in Scottsdale, AZ has welcomed one of the few documented offspring of a female sheep and a male goat. Butterfly, as she’s been named, has the features of a goat and the curly wool of a lamb.
Two juvenile Komodo dragons are now on view at the Nashville Zoo! They measure about two feet long and weigh two pounds now, but they will eventually grow to be over nine feet long and weigh around 200 pounds!
In the wild, Komodo dragons live in the volcanic islands of Indonesia. They are carnivorous apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain with few to no other predators. In one meal, they can eat 80% of their body weight (over 100 pounds of meat!).
Fewer than 2,500 Komodo dragons remain in the wild, and the IUCN considers them vulnerable. Threats include habitat loss, loss of prey species, hunting, and persecution.
Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL welcomed a female klipspringer calf on June 15. She weighed two pounds at birth and is doing well.
The zoo staff are especially excited over this special birth because the little calf’s mother Vera has a history of medical issues. In May 2013, Vera came to Brevard Zoo with an injured leg. After an extensive surgery, Vera developed an infection in her leg and veterinarians had to amputate it.
Despite her physical disability, Vera was able to hop around the yard and onto the rocks with just three legs. Now, with the birth of the little calf, Vera is showing she is a great mother as well.
In the wild, klipspringers inhabit the rocky terrain of eastern and southern Africa. They are very agile creatures, able to leap and balance on very steep, narrow ledges. In fact, the word klipspringer translates to “rock jumper”.
For more information, see the Brevard Zoo website.
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago announced the birth of 13 eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, an endangered species in Illinois. The snakes were born on June 20.
“We are overjoyed by the arrival of this litter,” said Diane Mulkerin, curator at Lincoln Park Zoo. “The zoo is extremely enthusiastic about the significant positive impact these rattlesnakes will have on this endangered population.”
The baby rattlesnakes are the size of a US quarter when coiled, but they can grow to be 30 inches long. In the wild, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes ranges from the Midwest to New York and Ontario and inhabits forests, fields, and marshes.
Learn more at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.
Despite being less than a week old, the baby dromedary camel at Memphis Zoo already weighs 68 pounds and measures 3 feet tall! The male camel calf was born on Thursday, June 12 to parents Mona Lisa and Solomon.
Mama and baby are doing well in the Camel Excursion exhibit at the zoo. The newborn will spend the next 18 months nursing from his mother.
According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “Similar to giraffes, the most important things we look for are the calf’s ability to stand as well as nurse. He is already walking and has nursed several times.”
Dromedary camels are one of two species of camels, with the other species being Bactrian. Dromedary (aka Arabian camels) have only one hump, while Bactrian camels have two.
Learn more at the Memphis Zoo website.
Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago welcomed four baby trumpeter swans (called cygnets) on June 2 and 3 to two sets of parents. The cygnets are already exploring the zoo’s McCormick Swan Pond with their parents.
The young swans will learn all the necessary survival skill at the zoo, including swimming and feeding independently on seeds, grains, wetland plants, insects, and small fish. Then, in the fall, the swans will be released into the wild in Iowa as part of a collaborative reintroduction program with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“It’s amazing to see how resilient this species truly is,” said Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds, Sunny Nelson. “Twenty years ago these birds were nearly extinct and are beginning to make quite the comeback, due in part to reintroduction collaborations such as with the Iowa DNR.”
Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America. They are easily identified by their black bills, white plumage, and 8-feet wingspans. Usually, trumpeter swans mate for life.
For more info, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.
Meet Mimi, a baby hamadryas baboon born at the Oakland Zoo on May 21st! The little baboon is settling in well, nursing with her mother, Maya.
Mimi has two older siblings, Kodee and Mocha, who are very curious about her.
“This new baby is great because not only do we have parent raised baboons, but the other two youngsters are able to witness and participate in infant care, which will only make them better mothers in the future,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.
Hamadryas baboons live in groups called troops. They eat vegetables, insects, and red meat. In the wild, they inhabit Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Learn more at the Oakland Zoo website.
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is home to Marty, an 8 week old baby porcupine (or porcupette). The roly-poly porcupine was born on April 4 to parents Molly and Oliver.
She was captured on camera enjoying a treat of leaves, twigs, and bark in her exhibit in the Northern Trail. Watch the video below:
Learn more about Marty at the Woodland Park Zoo website.
Photo and video by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.
Excitement continues at the Memphis Zoo with the birth of a baby reticulated giraffe on May 16. The male giraffe calf, named Tamu Massif (tam-MOO mah-SEEF), weighs 150 pounds. He is the fifth calf for mother Marilyn.
“Tamu is doing incredibly well,” says Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “He’s happy and healthy. Marilyn is a great, experienced mother, so she’s taking this all in stride.”
The giraffe’s name means “sweet giant”. It is also the name of a dormant, underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean.
The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28. The newborn’s name is Mpingo (EM-pingo), which is a type of African tree. The wood from mpingo trees are used to make musical instruments, and so mpingos are sometimes referred to as “trees that make music”.
According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a very significant birth. He definitely lives up to his name. He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”
Mpingo and his mother Lily are doing well. They are both on exhibit with other members of the bonobo troop. Other females in the group will help raise Mpingo, just like what occurs in the wild.