Watch Bao Bao the giant panda from the National Zoo in Washington, DC enjoy her first snow!
Here’s a first look at the little baby gorilla born at the London Zoo today!
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered in the wild. This little baby is the future of the captive breeding program to preserve this species.
Just in time for Halloween, a Francois langur named Pumpkin gave birth to a bright orange baby. This is the fifth baby for mother Pumpkin and father Cartman.
“The newest Francois’ langur is healthy, nursing regularly and is showing signs of growth,” said Curator of Primates, Maureen Leahy. “Older sister Orla has already shown her support by alloparenting, a process in which the other female monkeys take turns carrying and providing care to the young.”
Although adult Francois langurs are distinguished by their black and white coloring, baby Francois langurs have an orange coat. Scientists believe this encourages alloparenting because the infants are easily identified. The orange fur fades to black after 3-6 months.
In the wild, Francois langurs inhabit southern Guangxi province of China, northern Vietnam and west-central Laos.
Learn more about the Francois langur baby at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.
Meet our featured animal, the giant panda!
Here are five fun facts about giant pandas:
- Giant pandas are endangered, with only about 1600 left living in the wild.
- Giant pandas can weigh between 100-115 kg (220-250 lb.).
- One of the interesting evolutionary traits of the panda is their protruding wrist bone that acts like a thumb. This helps the pandas hold bamboo while they munch on it with their strong molar teeth.
- Bamboo makes up nearly the entire diet of the panda. Due to the low nutritional value of bamboo, pandas need to eat 10-20 kg (20-40 lb.) a day.
- Female pandas are only able to become pregnant for 2-3 days each spring!
Learn more at our giant panda facts page.
On July 3rd, Nashville Zoo welcomed a new fuzzy face- a female red panda cub! Both the cub and her mother are doing well in their off exhibit den.
“This is the first birth of a red panda at Nashville Zoo, so it is certainly cause for celebration,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “Though the cub can’t be seen on exhibit right now, we hope she will make her debut this fall and bring attention to the fight to save this species.”
Red pandas are considered vulnerable of extinction. In the wild, they inhabit the mountains of central China, Nepal, and northern Myanmar. Threats to their survival include habitat loss and high infant mortality rates.
The Nashville Zoo’s red panda pair are part of AZA’s Species Survival Program, which is a breeding program that aims to produce a self-sustaining, genetically diverse captive population.
For more information about the red panda cub, visit the Nashville Zoo’s blog.
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.
Much like humans, bonobos show kindness to strangers. Through experiments and observation, researchers have seen bonobos demonstrate empathy and go out of their way to help others.
Watch a video below about bonobos, kindness, and their unfortunate predicament in the wild:
Source: National Geographic.
Learn more about bonobos in our bonobo facts article.
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.
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.