VIDEO: First Giant Panda Cubs Born in Canada

The two little panda cubs born at Toronto Zoo are now a month old! Although they were born pink and hairless, they now resemble their mother Er Shun with the distinctive black and white markings.

The larger of the cubs weighs 1 kg, while the smaller one weighs 750 grams.

Giant panda and cub

Er Shun and her cub. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Learn more about Toronto Zoo’s giant panda cubs at their website.

Learn more about pandas at our giant panda facts article.

VIDEO: Southern White Rhino Calf at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed a female southern white rhinoceros calf on October 16. The calf is healthy and is currently being cared for by experienced mother Kisiri with the Busch Gardens animal care team watching closely.

Southern white rhino calf

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Newborn white rhinoceroses usually weigh about 150 pounds and can gain four pounds every day for the first year. White rhinos are the second largest land mammal after the elephant and can weigh as much as 5,000 pounds when fully grown.

The southern white rhinoceros is classified as a near-threatened species with just over 20,000 left in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Learn more about the baby southern white rhino at the Busch Gardens Tampa blog.

Australia’s First Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf Born

greater one-horned rhino baby and mama

Proud mama Amala watches over her new baby boy. Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For the first time ever, an Australian zoo welcomed a baby greater one-horned rhinoceros to the world on October 25. Taronga Western Plains Zoo keepers are closely monitoring their new arrival, a male calf born to first-time mother Amala.

“Amala is being very protective of him,” said Unit Supervisor Jennifer Conaghan. “She is keeping her distance from us and keeping the calf close, which is what we expected to see. We have seen the calf suckling and although it is still only days old, we are extremely happy with the situation so far, and absolutely thrilled to have this new addition on the ground.”

Baby greater one-horned rhino

Greater one-horned rhinoceros calf at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

According to Taronga Western Plains Zoo Director Matthew Fuller, “We’re the only zoo in Australia to have three species of rhino, and three successful rhino breeding programs, so critical for these species that are all threatened in the wild.”

Learn more about the little rhino calf at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

You can find out more rhino facts at our greater one-horned rhino page.

Ring-tailed Lemur Baby at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Ring-tailed lemur and baby

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a ring-tailed lemur. Photo by Sasha Brook, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

A baby ring-tailed lemur was born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, in Dubbo, Australia, on August 25. The little baby, named Imerina, spent her first few weeks clinging tightly to her mother but is now starting to explore independently.

“It’s wonderful to have a successful breeding season and a healthy baby on the ground,”  Keeper Sasha Brook said. “Imerina is a strong baby and first time mother Rikitra is doing all the right things, nursing and grooming her baby well, which is great to see.”

Ring-tailed lemur baby at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Imerina peers out from the safety of her mother’s chest. Photo by Sasha Brook, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

To learn more about ring-tailed lemurs, see our lemur article.

Baby Aardvark at Busch Gardens

Baby aardvark

Photo by Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Busch Gardens welcomed an odd, yet adorable, newborn earlier this fall. A little baby aardvark was born to mother Izzy on September 18.

With hairless, wrinkly skin and large floppy ears, some call the little baby “ugly-cute.” After a few weeks, the folds of skin will disappear and the ears will stand up straight.

Watch a video of the little aardvark here:

VIDEO: White Lion Cubs at Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is pleased to announce that Makali, a four-year-old white lioness, gave birth to four cubs on September 26-27.

The little lion cubs are healthy, feeding well, and staying in the maternity area of the lion habitat at the zoo. The first thirty days will be critical for the cubs and zoo staff will continue to monitor them closely.

Learn more about lions at our lion facts article.

“Oh Hello There!” Koala Joey Emerges from Pouch at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Koala joey

Meet Storm, a seven month old joey. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Visitors to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia delight in the new koala joey on view. Named Storm, the seven-month-old joey is the first koala joey of the season to emerge from his pouch.

This is the second joey for mother Wild Girl. Wild Girl came to the zoo’s wildlife hospital after she suffered a hip wound after being struck by a car and was unable to be returned to the wild.

Koala joey and mother

Storm with his mother Wild Girl. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

“Thunder is approximately seven-months-old, born in January 2015. Wild Girl is quiet protective of Thunder. He can be seen on the front of her chest for now but in the coming months will start to move on to her back,” said keeper Karen James.

For more information about the koala joeys at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, visit

Learn more about koalas at our koala facts article.

Hand Raising a Cheetah Cub

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The zoo keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have had their hands full raising a little cheetah cub named Siri.

Siri was born on May 21 this year to experienced mother Halla. But usually, cheetahs are born in litters of three to five cubs. When a single cub is born, mother cheetahs generally reject the cub since survival rates for a single cub are low in the wild.

Zoo keeper Linda Matthews said: “We were on alert when we knew there was only one cub, and after 24hrs based on what we were seeing, we intervened to give Siri the best chance of survival.”

Bottle feeding a cheetah cub.

A keeper bottle feeds Siri. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For the first six weeks, keepers provided 24/7 care for the cub.

Cheetah cub and puppy

Siri and Iris the puppy interact. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

At eight weeks, they introduced a 7-week-old retriever cross mastiff puppy named Iris as a companion. This will help Siri develop her animal instincts and social interaction.

Cheetah cub

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Learn more about cheetahs in our cheetah facts article.

Adorable Baby Sloth at Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby sloth and mama

Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed a baby Hoffman’s two-toed sloth on July 25. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Visitors to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago now have the opportunity to see an adorable baby Hoffman’s two-toed sloth on exhibit. The adorable baby was born on July 25 to 21-year-old mother Hersey and 32-year-old father Carlos.

“The sloth infant appears healthy and is passing critical milestones such as nursing regularly and clinging well to mother,” said Curator Diane Mulkerin. “Hersey is a first-time mother and is being very attentive to her new young.”

Hoffman’s two-toed sloths inhabit the rainforests of Central and South America. Their large hooked claws help them hang upside down from treetops, which is how they spend most of their time.

Orphaned Tree Kangaroo Saved in World First

Tree kangaroo at Adelaide Zoo

World conservation first: An orphaned tree kangaroo was cross-fostered by a rock wallaby and survived! Photo by Adelaide Zoo.

The keepers and veterinarians at Adelaide Zoo have saved the life of an orphaned Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo by using a surrogate wallaby mother! This exciting achievement is a world first for conservation.

One morning in November of last year, zoo keepers discovered that a tree branch had fallen and killed the zoo’s three-year-old tree kangaroo overnight. She was carrying a five week old joey. Since the joey was so young, hand-rearing was not an option. They decided to use a technique called “cross-fostering”, which involves transferring the joey to the pouch of another animal.

Tree kangaroo joey being transferred.

The orphaned tree kangaroo joey was transferred to the pouch of a rock wallaby. Photo by Adelaide Zoo.

In the 1990s, Adelaide Zoo pioneered this cross-fostering technique on endangered wallabies. In this situation, zoo keepers would transfer the endangered wallaby joey to the pouch of a surrogate wallaby of another, non-endangered species. The original endangered wallaby female would then be able to restart her breeding cycle, increasing her reproduction rate up to six or eight times.  This allowed the zoo to build up the endangered population much more quickly.

According to Adelaide Zoo veterinarian Dr David McLelland, “We’ve had great success over the years’ cross-fostering between wallaby species, but the specialized breeding technique has never been used on a tree kangaroo. Not only are tree kangaroos distant relatives of wallabies, they also have many behavioral and physical differences. We had no idea if the yellow-foot rock wallaby would accept the tree kangaroo joey, but if we wanted to save the joey we had to try our luck.”

The gamble worked, and the orphaned tree kangaroo thrived in the pouch of his surrogate rock wallaby mother. The joey, named Makaia, spent about three and a half months in the pouch until being hand-reared by zoo staff.

Tree kangaroo joey in rock wallaby pouch

Makaia, the tree kangaroo joey, can be seen here inside the pouch of his surrogate mother, a rock wallaby. Photo by Adelaide Zoo.

The amazing rescue story of Makaia will be featured in the July/August edition of Australian Geographic, available July 3.

Watch a video of Makaia below: