The Woodland Park Zoo’s four Asian small-clawed otter pups are nearing two months old. They are learning to walk, jump, run and squeal.
Later in the summer they will go on view to the public, but for now they are learning and bonding with their family out of sight. One of the things they must prove they can do before they go on exhibit is swim, an essential task for any otter.
For first time in captivity, a Tinian Monarch has been hatched. The chick was hatched at the Memphis zoo on June 6 and fledged from the nest on June 19.
Tinian monarchs are small, brownish birds that are found only on the island of Tinian. Tinian is part of a group of islands known as the Mariana Islands, which are located in an area close to the Philippine Sea. They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.
Photo Credit: Provided Courtesy of Memphis Zoo, photographer: Sara Taylor
June 28th saw the birth of Chester, a yellow-backed duiker, at the Memphis Zoo. Duikers are a species of antelope found in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yellow-backed duikers are the largest and most abundant of all duiker species. They are threatened with extinction due to hunting for food and habitat loss.
A bright orange baby monkey was born at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago on July 11. Although born with vivid orange fur, this type of monkey, called a Francois’ langur, will gradually turn black after 3-6 months.
“Pumpkin is a great mom, and she has been bonding well with her new infant,” said Lead Keeper of Primates Bonnie Jacobs, who is also the vice coordinator of the Francois’ langur Species Survival Program (SSP). “The other three females in the group have already started helping out.”
Francois’ langurs rely on alloparenting, in which other females in the family take turns caring for the offspring. The other females benefit from the experience when they become mothers in the future.
Bella and Darwin, two female Galapagos tortoises, will be making their public debut at the Nashville Zoo on July 27. The pair are both 20 years old, and Galapagos tortoises can live up to 150 years. Bella weighs 280 lbs and Darwin weighs 200, but they aren’t done growing yet! Fully grown, they will weigh 350 lbs.
International Tiger Day takes place on July 29th, and Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida will be celebrating all weekend. In addition to discussions on tigers, feedings, and face painting, proceeds from the tigress and cubs plush toys sold in the Tiger Lodge gift shop in the Jungala area will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. On exhibit will be the endangered Malayan tiger cubs pictured.
The Lincoln Park Zoo in conjunction with the US Fish & Wildlife Service is working to repopulate prairie land with native wildlife.
A zoo-raised ornate box turtle prepares for release into the wild. Photo by Sharon Dewar / Lincoln Park Zoo.
Their most recent release was 18 ornate box turtle hatchlings in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Savanna, Illinois. The zoo is also recovering other prairie-dwelling wildlife including meadow jumping mice and smooth green snakes.
“Suitable habitat is being created, but many species have trouble accessing it due to fragmentation from roads and other physical barriers which makes re-colonization of restored sites improbable,” explained Allison Sacerdote-Velat, Ph.D. reintroduction biologist at Lincoln Park Zoo.
“These collaborative conservation partnerships are terrific because each agency brings a unique expertise. The zoo specializes in small population biology and animal care. We can successfully breed, hatch and care for these species until they are large and mature enough for release to the wild – a technique called ‘head-starting’ which gives them a greater chance of survival upon release.”
An ornate box turtle taking its first steps in the prairie. Photo by Sharon Dewar / Lincoln Park Zoo.