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!

Baby Alpaca Arrives at Nashville Zoo

Baby alpaca

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

On December 13, Nashville Zoo welcomed a baby alpaca into the world! The male calf, named Bandit, is the first baby alpaca to be born at the zoo.

“Based on the mother’s weight gain, we had predicted the baby would be born in spring, so his arrival on a December Saturday morning was quite a surprise,” said Kacie Cummings, Contact Area Supervisor. “We are thrilled that baby Bandit is healthy and on exhibit with the rest of our alpacas.”

The baby now weighs 14 pounds and stands at 2 feet tall. He will be on exhibit at Critter Encounters, an interactive area where guests can get up-close experiences with goats, camels, Galapagos tortoises, and birds, throughout the winter.

Baby alpaca

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Alpacas are domesticated animals native to the mountains of South America.

Learn more at the Nashville Zoo website.

Baby Aardvark at Nebraska Zoo

The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska welcomed a baby aardvark on October 1. The little calf, who currently weighs around 12 pounds, is now on public display!

Baby aardvark

Photo by Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

When the little guy or gal (the baby’s gender is still unknown at this time) reaches adulthood, he or she will weigh anywhere from 110-150 pounds.

In the wild, aardvarks live throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. They have long, sticky tongues that help them catch termites and ants. Their long, tubular snouts help them reach into termite mounds.