Baby Camel at Memphis Zoo

Baby dromedary camel

Photo courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Despite being less than a week old, the baby dromedary camel at Memphis Zoo already weighs 68 pounds and measures 3 feet tall!  The male camel calf was born on Thursday, June 12 to parents Mona Lisa and Solomon.

Mama and baby are doing well in the Camel Excursion exhibit at the zoo. The newborn will spend the next 18 months nursing from his mother.

According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “Similar to giraffes, the most important things we look for are the calf’s ability to stand as well as nurse. He is already walking and has nursed several times.”

Dromedary camel baby and mother

Photo courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Dromedary camels are one of two species of camels, with the other species being Bactrian. Dromedary (aka Arabian camels) have only one hump, while Bactrian camels have two.

Learn more at the Memphis Zoo website.

Memphis Zoo Announces Baby Giraffe

Baby giraffe

Baby giraffe, Tamu Massif, arrived on May 16 at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Caitlin Miller. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Excitement continues at the Memphis Zoo with the birth of a baby reticulated giraffe on May 16.  The male giraffe calf, named Tamu Massif (tam-MOO mah-SEEF), weighs 150 pounds.  He is the fifth calf for mother Marilyn.

“Tamu is doing incredibly well,” says Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “He’s happy and healthy. Marilyn is a great, experienced mother, so she’s taking this all in stride.”

The giraffe’s name means “sweet giant”. It is also the name of a dormant, underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean.

Baby giraffe

Tamu explores his surroundings as other members of the herd look on. Photo by Caitlin Miller. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

To learn more about the baby giraffe, visit the Memphis Zoo’s website. You can learn more about giraffes at Animal Fact Guide’s giraffe facts page.

Baby Bonobo at the Memphis Zoo

Baby bonobo and mother

Mpingo’s mother Lily holds him close at the Memphis Zoo’s bonobo exhibit. Photo by Laura Horn. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28.  The newborn’s name is 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, “This is a very significant birth. He definitely lives up to his name. He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”

Mpingo and his mother Lily are doing well. They are both on exhibit with other members of the bonobo troop.  Other females in the group will help raise Mpingo, just like what occurs in the wild.

To learn more about Mpingo, visit the Memphis Zoo website. To learn more about bonobos, who are endangered, visit Animal Fact Guide’s bonobo facts page.

Meerkat Pups at Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo welcomed two male meerkat pups on February 27. Photo by Laura Horn, courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Say hello to Billy and Rico, the two meerkat babies born on February 27. Photo by Laura Horn, courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Two meerkat pups were born on February 27 to first-time mother Sunny at the Memphis Zoo. The babies, named Billy and Rico, are both male.

“It’s really adorable to see how the whole group takes care of the young meerkats,” said Melanie Lewis, Cat Country keeper. “The visitors love them as well. They’re front and center in the exhibit. They’re not shy at all.”

Learn more about Billy and Rico at the Memphis Zoo website.

To find out more about meerkats, visit our meerkat facts page.

Snow Leopard Cub Makes Public Debut at Memphis Zoo

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Three-month old snow leopard cub Taza made his public debut at the Memphis Zoo last week! He and doting mother Ateri are on view in a special display area adjacent to the snow leopard exhibit.

“We can’t wait to show off the little guy to our visitors,” said Gail Karr, Assistant Curator of Mammals. “He has been such a joy to watch over these last three months, and we know the public is going to love him like we do.”

Taza will eventually move to another zoo where he’ll be paired up with a female snow leopard as part of the Species Survival Plan.

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Photos courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Rare Crane Chicks at the Memphis Zoo

West African black crowned cranes

Three West African black crowned crane chicks with their parents at the Memphis Zoo. Photos by Sara Taylor / Memphis Zoo.

The Memphis Zoo welcomed three West African black crowned crane chicks last month. This is the first hatching of this type of crane at the zoo, and the first for these parents! According to Carol Hesch, Assistant Curator, “Since early on, they’ve been great parents. I can’t praise them enough for the excellent job they’ve been doing.”

Three crane chicks

In the wild, about 15,000 West African black crowned cranes range from Senegal to Chad in Africa. They are vulnerable of extinction due to habitat loss and capture for domestication.

Learn more about the chicks at the Memphis Zoo website.

Snow Leopard Cub at Memphis Zoo

Snow leopard

The Memphis Zoo announced the birth of a baby snow leopard!  The male cub was born to parents Ateri and Darhan. Ateri is a first-time mother and is nursing the cub behind the scenes.

“Ateri is a great mother,” says Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “This was her first cub, and everything is going smoothly.”

In the wild, snow leopards inhabit Central Asia.  It is estimated there are only 4000-6500 snow leopards remaining, according to the IUCN.

Learn more at the Memphis Zoo website.

Bonobo Baby Face!

Memphis Zoo keeper Sandi Shoemaker captured this moment with Mobali, a three-month-old baby bonobo.

Bonobo baby up close

Closeup of baby Mobali, a bonobo at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Sandi Shoemaker / Memphis Zoo.

Learn more about Mobali’s birth on our blog. You can also learn more about bonobos at our bonobo facts article.

Memphis Zoo Hatches First Ever Tinian Monarch

Photo Courtesy of Memphis Zoo

Photo Courtesy of Memphis Zoo

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.

Visit the Memphis Zoo website for more information.

Yellow-Backed Duiker Born at Memphis Zoo

Photo Credit: Provided Courtesy of Memphis Zoo, photographer: Sara Taylor

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.

Visit the Memphis Zoo website.