Baby Elephant at Twycross Zoo

Baby elephant at Twycross Zoo.

The baby elephant born on March 4 at Twycross Zoo is now on view! Photo by Twycross Zoo.

The Twycross Zoo welcomed a baby Asian elephant on March 4! The healthy female calf will nurse 11 liters (~3 gallons) of milk a day from her mother Noorjahan until she is 12 months old.

Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences, said: “The calf was born at approximately 2.30am and was up on its feet after a matter of minutes. The infant has bonded very well with mum, who is doing an exceptional job of taking care of her.”

Sarah Chapman, Head of Veterinary Services, added: “The herd’s behaviour was monitored by the vet and animal teams via CCTV, and it was good to see that all members of the herd were very excited by the new arrival and very interested in the infant. All the females continue to take a huge interest in the calf and are very protective of her. This is perfectly natural, with Aunties playing a very important ‘babysitting’ role in the natural herd structure.”

The IUCN lists the Asian elephant as endangered. In the wild, they live in fragmented populations in various countries across southeast Asia. Their population has been dramatically reduced and the quality of habitat is declining.

Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Learn more at the Twycross Zoo website.

Endangered Baby Orangutan at Twycross Zoo

Bornean orangutan

A new addition to the Twycross Zoo: a baby Bornean orangutan! Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered Bornean orangutan. The baby ape, born on November 28, is happy, healthy and doing very well. The newborn is 36-year-old Kibriah’s fourth offspring.

Bornean orangutan mother and baby

Mother Kibriah with her new baby.

Great Ape Team Leader, Simon Childs, said: “We’re all very proud. Kibriah is a very loving mum and she’s doing such a great job. She is holding the baby very close so we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl just yet. When we find out the sex, we can then start to think of a name for him or her. At this stage we don’t mind what sex it is, we’re just happy to have another healthy infant.”

According to Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences: “The Bornean orangutan is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist (IUCN), with fewer than 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild. As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation.  Experts now agree that orangutans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”

Learn more about Bornean orangutans at our orangutan facts page.

For more about the new addition at the Twycross Zoo, see their website.

Rare Rhino Caught on Camera Trap

Park authorities at Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia were able to capture video footage of Javan rhinoceroses going about their business using camera traps. These rhinos are considered critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. Only 40-60 Javan rhinos are alive today, with the majority of the population living in Ujung Kulon National Park. There are no Javan rhinos in captivity.

Baby Rhino Makes His Public Debut

Eastern black rhinos

King, with his mother Kapuki by his side, makes his public debut. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo

Newly-named Eastern black rhinoceros calf, King, made his public debut today at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The baby rhino, who already weighs in at 200 pounds, thrilled zoo-goers as he trotted out into the Harris Family Foundation Black Rhinoceros Exhibit, exploring the sights and scents. He and his mother Kapuki had been bonding behind the scenes since his birth on August 26.

In the wild, Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching. It is estimated that there are only 5000 left in the wild in Africa.

King and Kapuki, rhinos at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

After a few timid steps, King gained confidence in the outdoor exhibit, taking in all the new sights and scents. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo.

“Breeding programs at zoos are of crucial importance to the survival of these remarkable animals, particularly as the numbers in the wild continue to dwindle,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout. “King will serve as an excellent ambassador for his species.”

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

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.

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.

Endangered Zebra Born at Busch Gardens

Grevy's zebra and mother.

A newborn Grevy’s zebra foal with its mother at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.

An endangered Grevy’s zebra was born on August 5th at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Within an hour of is birth, the little foal was able to stand on its own and nurse from its mother Brooke.

In the wild, Grevy’s zebras inhabit Kenya and Ethiopia. The population of Grevy’s zebra has declined by more than 50 percent in the last 18 years, and they are the only species of zebra that are listed as endangered by IUCN Red List.

See more photos of the Grevy’s zebra below. For more information, see the Busch Gardens website.

Baby Grevy's zebra and mother

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Grevy's zebra calf and mother

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Collaborating to Save Tigers

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Woodland Park Zoo has joined forces with Panthera to continue the battle to save tigers in the wild. The group will focus on saving tigers in Malaysia, where habitat loss and poachers have decimated the population. The ten year project will provide hands-on training and financial assistance to help save these tigers.

Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo here.

Learn more about Panthera.