Baby Cheetahs at Busch Gardens

Cheetah cubs at Busch Gardens.

Aww! Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed a pair of cheetah cubs!

A pair of cheetah cubs have joined the ranks at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. The cubs, named Tendai and Thabo, weighed 12 pounds when they were born on November 22, 2014. Once old enough, they will start their own coalition of cheetahs at the Cheetah Run habitat.

Cheetah cubs at Busch Gardens

Zzz… These cheetah cubs are all tuckered out.

Watch a video below:

Learn more about cheetahs at our cheetah facts article.

Endangered Baby Gorilla at Busch Gardens

Western lowland gorilla

A western lowland gorilla named Mary with her new baby at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.

A female western lowland gorilla was born at Busch Gardens Tampa on February 6! This brings the gorilla troop at the Busch Gardens Myombe Reserve habitat to seven!

Western lowland gorilla

What a sweet face! Both mother and baby are doing well and are being monitored by the animal care staff. Photo by Busch Gardens.

“The first month will be the critical period as the mother, Mary, and the infant begin to integrate into the current gorilla troop, so the Busch Gardens animal care team will be monitoring their progress closely,” said Jeff Andrews, vice president of zoological operations for Busch Gardens.

Watch a video below of mama and baby!

 

Zoo Animals Get Special Treats on Valentine’s Day

Lorikeets at Nashville Zoo

These lorikeets enjoy new, Valentine’s Day-themed toys for the holiday. Photo by Christian Sperka / Nashville Zoo.

Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow? The animals at Nashville Zoo will be enjoying the day with special enrichment items!

“Valentine’s Day is a chance for our animals to receive new items and toys for enrichment, and for our keepers to have a little fun, ” said Jac Menish, curator of behavioral husbandry at Nashville Zoo. “Cardboard in the shape of candy kisses, purple and red paper mache balls, and pink paper chains are just a few of the sweet items the animals will be enjoying during the day.”

Confiscated Snakes Find New Home

Amazon tree boa

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

Oakland Zoo took in three Amazon tree boas after the snakes were confiscated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The smuggled snakes could not be returned to the wild after they were taken from South America and illegally imported into the Port of Miami.

“Animals illegally imported from the wild and into the pet trade are subjected to horrific conditions during the transport including overcrowding, extreme temperatures, and little to no sanitation, leading to a very low survival rate,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “This is also a primary cause of many species becoming endangered. When looking for pet reptiles or birds, owners should only purchase animals that are captive bred and ensure that they are dealing with a reputable source. The best option is to work with a rescue organization.”

Guests to the zoo can see the new snakes at the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room daily from 10am-4pm.

In the wild, Amazon tree boas are common in forests with high humidity, like the Amazon rainforest. They also inhabit dry areas, like savannas or dry forests, and along rivers. They hunt at night using infrared sensitivity and during the day using vision. While they are aggressive in nature, they are non-venomous.

Jaguar Cubs at Brevard Zoo

Jaguar cubs at Brevard Zoo

Photo by Brevard Zoo.

On January 27, Brevard Zoo welcomed a pair of healthy jaguar cubs. The cubs were born to mom, Masaya, and dad, Mulac.

The zoo installed a camera in the den box to monitor Masaya as she gave birth and now as she cares for the cubs. Mother and cubs are doing very well according to zoo staff.

“We are very excited with Masaya and Mulac’s new additions and look forward to them being out for guests to see,” said Kerry Sweeney, Curator of Animals.

It will be three weeks before the cubs venture out of the den, and another two to three months before they will be out on exhibit.

In the wild, jaguars inhabit the dense forests and swampy grasslands of Central and South America. They are categorized as “near threatened” by the IUCN Red List.

Tawny Frogmouth Chick at SeaWorld Orlando

Tawny frogmouth chick at SeaWorld Orlando

Photo by SeaWorld Orlando.

The first tawny frogmouth chick of the year hatched at SeaWorld Orlando on January 10.  Currently weighing 21 grams (under 1 ounce), the little baby bird will grow to weigh as much as 400-600 grams (21 ounces) as an adult.

The chick is being hand-raised by the SeaWorld Aviculture Team. Every night, it goes home with an aviculturist who feeds the chick every 3-4 hours.

Tawny frogmouths are native to Australia. Although they look like owls, they are not in the same family.

Christmas Trees Become Zoo Animal Treats

Elephant with Christmas tree

Photo by Oakland Zoo.

Dozens of leftover Christmas trees were donated by a local tree lot to the Oakland Zoo after the holiday season wrapped up. And the Oakland Zoo keepers have put them to good use!

“The Christmas trees provide our zoo animals with a unique seasonal enrichment,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care at Oakland Zoo.

The trees became sticky snacks for the giraffes, zebras, camels, elephants, and goats. They provided hiding spots for goodies to entice baboons and otters. And they added a new dimension of fun to the squirrel monkeys’ exhibit.

Year in Review: Baby Animals of 2014

This year, we fell in love with many new fuzzy faces and cuddly cuties.  Here are a few of our favorite baby animals of 2014!


Best Peek-a-Boo:
Nashville Zoo had a bounty of little kangaroo joeys popping up left and right this fall.  Here’s one of them:

Kangaroo joey peeking out from pouch

Photo by Aimee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.


Cutest Yawn:
Three male lion cubs were born at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on October 24. We love the middle guy’s yawn! Spending 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting, lions are the laziest of the big cats. In the wild, they can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or taking a snooze up in a tree.

Three lion cubs

Photo by Photo by Dr. Darin Collins / Woodland Park Zoo.


Bounciest Baby:
A baby klipspringer was born on March 30 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The term “klipspringer” is Afrikaans for “rock jumper”, and this little antelope sure does live up to her name!

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.


Cutest Snout:
Busch Gardens welcomed a Southern tamandua (or lesser anteater) on April 13. In the wild, tamanduas inhabit Central and South America.

Southern tamandua

Photo by Busch Gardens.


Best Belly Rolls:
This little roly-poly hippo calf, born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia on September 11, is just irresistible. In the wild, hippos live in sub-Saharan Africa. The hippopotamus is the second heaviest land mammal in the world!

Baby hippo and mama

Photo by Anthony Dorian / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.


Rarest Birth:
Chimelong Safari Park, a zoo in southern China, announced the birth of giant panda triplets this summer. Panda triplets are incredibly rare, and usually, at least one of the cubs do not survive. Born on July 29, these three panda cubs have all survived and mother Juxiao is tending to each of them.

pandatriplets

Photo by Chimelong Safari Park.


Coziest Hug:
The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28 named 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, “He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”

Baby bonobo and mother

Photo by Laura Horn. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.


Cutest Hybrid:
Butterfly is a geep (goat-sheep hybrid) born at My Petting Zoo in Scottsdale, Arizona. Born in July, she has the features of a goat and the curly wool of a lamb!

Geep: goat-sheep hybrid

Photo by My Petting Zoo.

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of adorable animal babies of 2014! Happy New Year!