Jaguar to Name Cub for Father’s Day

r cubs at Woodland Park Zoo

Three jaguar cubs were born in March to father Junior and mother Nayla. Junior will name his son (pictured in the middle) for Father’s Day. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

At the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, new father Junior will have the opportunity to name his son on Father’s Day. Junior and his partner Nayla became proud parents of triplets back in March. The two female cubs will be named privately, but the male cub will be named in a special ceremony on Sunday.

Zookeepers selected three names original to the jaguar’s native South American range:

1. Cruz, in reference to Bolivia’s Santa Cruz zoo where Junior was born
2. Tlaloc, Aztec meaning “from the earth”
3. Kuwan, from the Hopi Tribe meaning “butterfly showing beautiful wings”

The three names will be individually paired with tasty, enticing piñatas and displayed for Junior in Jaguar Cove during the naming ceremony.  The piñatas will be stuffed with his favorite meats: chicken and ground turkey. Junior will decide his son’s name by selecting which piñata to open.

The piñatas are part of the zoo’s enrichment program, which stimulates the animals’ senses, promotes natural animal behavior and often rewards the animals with tasty, nutritious treats.

To follow the three cubs’ progress, visit the Woodland Park Zoo’s blog.

***

UPDATE: After some deliberation, Junior chose the name KUWAN!

jaguar

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Lion Cubs at Busch Gardens

Lion cubs at Busch Gardens

These lion cub sisters were born on March 20 at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.

Busch Gardens welcomed three little lions recently. Two female cubs were born on March 20, and an unrelated male cub was born on February 20. All the cubs have genetic lines from the Kalahari and Kruger regions of South Africa, where lions are recognized for their large size and impressive manes on the males.

More information and updates about the progress of the new cubs will be posted on  BuschGardensTampaBlog.com. You can help name the lion cub sisters at the Busch Gardens Tampa Facebook page.

In the wild, lions once inhabited most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. Now around 20,000-30,000 of these big cats live in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in protected reserves. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports several projects in Africa, which work to protect and preserve the species.

To learn more about lions, visit our lion facts page.

Lion cubs at Busch Gardens Lion cubs at Busch Gardens

***

UPDATE: The winning names for the three-month-old cubs are Shaba, meaning “brazen”, and Shtuko, meaning “twitch”.

Baby Bonobo at Memphis Zoo

Bonobo and baby

Bonobo baby with mom Kiri. Photo credit: Laura Horn, Memphis Zoo.

A baby bonobo was born at the Memphis Zoo on May 12 to parents Kiri and Mofana. The sex of the baby is still not known, but zoo staff will determine the gender in the coming weeks.

According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a species that needs a lot of help, so every birth is significant. Bonobos are still very rare in the wild and in captivity. They are a high conservation priority, and Mo and Kiri are a good genetic match.”

In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered. Civil war in the Congo has hugely impacted bonobo society, fragmenting their population to isolated pockets and limiting their genetic diversity.

To learn more about bonobos, see our bonobo facts article.

Baby Animals at the Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo in Florida welcomed a newborn white-faced saki monkey on May 18. The baby monkey is currently clinging to mother Chuckette. Soon the baby’s father Yuki and sister Watson will also start carrying the little one. By six months, the young monkey will be independent.

White-faced saki monkey

The baby white-faced saki monkey clings to mother Chuckette. Photo by David Saylor, Brevard Zoo.

In the wild, white-faced saki monkeys are found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

Four days after the birth of the saki monkey, the zoo celebrated yet another birth!  Two male and two female rock hyraxes were born, and within an hour, they were walking around with their parents.

Rock hyrax

One of four baby hyraxes at the Brevard Zoo. Can you believe this animal is related to the elephant?

Although they look like rodents, rock hyraxes are actually more closely related to elephants. They share a few similar features with elephants such as tusk-like incisors, toenails, sensitive foot pads, and excellent hearing and memory.

They inhabit areas in Africa and the Middle East that have rock crevices, which help provide protection from predators. Hyraxes typically live in groups of 10 to 80. Similar to meerkats, hyraxes use sentries, a system where one or more animals take up position on a vantage point and issue alarm calls on the approach of predators.

Endangered Red-Crowned Crane Chick at Seattle Zoo

Red-crowned crane chick

Woodland Park Zoo’s new red-crowned crane chick is on a mission, living as an ambassador for cranes facing habitat loss and life-threatening, human-wildlife conflicts in their Asian range. Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle is home to a new male red-crowned crane chick! The fluffy, brown chick, hatched on May 13, will play an integral role in the survival of the species. Red-crowned cranes are severely endangered, with only  2,700 cranes remaining in the Amur Basin of Northeast Asia.

The zoo works with Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use and the International Crane Foundation, through the zoo’s Partners for Wildlife, with the goal to bring the red-crowned crane population back from the brink of extinction.

“Muraviovka Park gives red-crowned cranes a chance to flourish; it’s a safe haven for them to breed, nest and raise their young,” says Fred Koontz, Woodland Park Zoo Vice President of Field Conservation. “This wildlife sanctuary is the first nongovernmental protected area, and the first privately run nature park in Russia since 1917, and it’s making a tremendous difference for the future of cranes and many other species.”

If you would like to help red-crowned cranes, you can get involved with Woodland Park Zoo’s efforts at zoo.org/conservation.

Red-crowned crane chick

Red-crowned crane chick

Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

Noisy Addition to the Twycross Zoo

Black and gold howler monkey

Baby black and gold howler monkey named Donatello. Photo credit: Twycross Zoo.

The Twycross Zoo in England welcomed a baby black and gold howler monkey, which is the world’s loudest primate! The little howler monkey has been named Donatello, and he and his mother are doing very well.

Howler monkeys have a very loud, distinctive call that can be heard up to 3 miles away. Male howler monkeys have special throat sacs that allow them to produce such a loud noise. The calls are used to mark their territory.

In the wild, black and gold howler monkeys live in South and Central America. They are threatened by loss of habitat due to agricultural development.

Remarkable White Rhino Birth at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

White rhino calf

The white rhino calf at one day old. Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo. See more photos below.

The Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia celebrated the arrival of a healthy male white rhinoceros calf last week. The calf’s birth represents a major conservation achievement!

Said Senior White Rhino Keeper, Pascale Benoit, “Everyone is just over the moon with the arrival of the white rhino calf, especially given the tragic of the loss of four members of this herd to disease last year, and the plummeting numbers of all rhino species in the wild.

“This calf is not only an important birth for Taronga Western Plains Zoo, but for the species as a whole. Mopani [the new calf's mother] had never bred before so to produce an offspring has created a new genetic line and greater genetic diversity within the White Rhino population throughout Australasia.”

In Africa, wild white rhinos are threatened by poaching. Nearly 2000 rhinos have been slaughtered since 2006.

The baby white rhino, yet to be named, with mother Mopani. Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The baby white rhino, yet to be named, with mother Mopani. Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

White rhino calf

Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

White rhino calf

Photo credit: Leonie Saville, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Elephants at Play

Watch a cute and informative video about how elephants communicate with each other as they play. Elephant biologist and conservationist Joyce Poole and her husband, Petter Granli, founders of ElephantVoices, created the video. Poole interprets and explains the elephants’ behavior as they interact.

To learn more about African elephants, see our African elephant facts page.

Malayan Tiger Cubs at Busch Gardens

Malayan tiger cub at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed three Malayan tiger cubs on March 31st. There were two males and one female, each weighing around 6 pounds.

These births were part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Malayan tiger births are rare in captive breeding programs. There was only one successful birth in 2012, and this is the first Malayan tiger birth at Busch Gardens Tampa. The animal care team is monitoring the cubs and parents around the clock.

Malayan tiger cub at Busch Gardens

According to the IUCN Redlist, Malayan tigers are considered endangered in the wild. There are only 500 Malayan tigers living in their native habitat, which is the southern tip of Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Threats include habitat fragmentation and poaching.

To learn more about the Malayan tiger cubs, see BuschGardensTampaBlog.com.

Endangered Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo

Baby lemur

Baby sifaka at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Photo by Jeffrey F. Bill.

A little Coquerel’s sifaka (pronounced CAH-ker-rells she-FAHK — it’s a species of lemur) was born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on March 30. The newborn, named Max, resembled a tiny gremlin when born, with a bald black face, round yellow eyes, and pointy ears.  Now, the white fur has grown in, and Max resembles his parents, Ana and Gratian.

Coquerel's sifaka

For the first month, baby Coquerel’s sifaka ride on their mother’s bellies, and then transition to riding on their mother’s backs. Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Maryland Zoo said of Max: “By the end of April, he will begin to sample solid food and crawl on Ana’s back periodically and he should begin to venture a few feet away from her by six to eight weeks of age.”

In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka live solely on the island of Madagascar, which is off the southeastern coast of Africa. They spend most of their lives in the treetops in two protected areas in the sparse dry, deciduous forests on the northwestern side of the island. As with many species of lemur, Coquerel’s sifaka are endangered, threatened by deforestation.

Sifaka have a very interesting way of moving on land. Here’s a video of some of them leaping!

For more information and photos of the baby sifaka, see the Maryland Zoo at Baltimore’s website.