Red Panda Cub Arrives at Nashville Zoo

Red panda cub

Photo by Nashville Zoo.

On July 3rd, Nashville Zoo welcomed a new fuzzy face- a female red panda cub! Both the cub and her mother are doing well in their off exhibit den.

“This is the first birth of a red panda at Nashville Zoo, so it is certainly cause for celebration,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “Though the cub can’t be seen on exhibit right now, we hope she will make her debut this fall and bring attention to the fight to save this species.”

Red pandas are considered vulnerable of extinction. In the wild, they inhabit the mountains of central China, Nepal, and northern Myanmar.  Threats to their survival include habitat loss and high infant mortality rates.

The Nashville Zoo’s red panda pair are part of AZA’s Species Survival Program, which is a breeding program that aims to produce a self-sustaining, genetically diverse captive population.

For more information about the red panda cub, visit the Nashville Zoo’s blog.

Juvenile Komodo Dragons at Nashville Zoo

Komodo dragons

Two young Komodo dragons have arrived at Nashville Zoo! Photo courtesy of Nashville Zoo.

Two juvenile Komodo dragons are now on view at the Nashville Zoo! They measure about two feet long and weigh two pounds now, but they will eventually grow to be over nine feet long and weigh around 200 pounds!

In the wild, Komodo dragons live in the volcanic islands of Indonesia.  They are carnivorous apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain with few to no other predators.  In one meal, they can eat 80% of their body weight (over 100 pounds of meat!).

Fewer than 2,500 Komodo dragons remain in the wild, and the IUCN considers them vulnerable. Threats include habitat loss, loss of prey species, hunting, and persecution.

Komodo dragon

Photo by Marty Fitzpatrick | Nashville Zoo.

Giraffe Calf at Nashville Zoo

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

In the early morning hours of December 13, a female Masai giraffe was born at Nashville Zoo!  At birth, the calf was already 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 180 lbs.

Masai giraffes are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.

Giant Anteater Born at Nashville Zoo

Baby giant anteater at Nashville Zoo. Photo by Heather Robertson / Nashville Zoo.

Baby giant anteater at Nashville Zoo. Photo by Heather Robertson / Nashville Zoo.

Nashville Zoo welcomed a male giant anteater on November 16.  The new addition, named Gabana, is doing well with mother Dulce living in the off-exhibit giant anteater barn.

Nashville Zoo has been active in anteater conservation for 15 years. This is the fifth anteater birth for the zoo in the last 13 months.

In the wild, giant anteaters inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South America. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN.

Learn more at the Nashville Zoo’s website.

Giant Anteater Pup at Nashville Zoo

Giant anteater baby

The newest giant anteater pup at the Nashville Zoo. Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Nashville Zoo welcomed a baby giant anteater on July 17. Both the mother and baby are bonding in the off-exhibit giant anteater barn. “We now have 15 giant anteaters at Nashville Zoo which is the largest collection in North America,” says Rick Schwartz, Zoo President.

Giant anteaters are solitary animals from the tropical forests of Central and South America. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the giant anteater as vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting.

Galapagos Tortoises join Nashville Zoo

credit: Amiee Stubbs

credit: Amiee Stubbs

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.

Visit the Nashville Zoo.

Baby Wildcats at the Nashville Zoo

Clouded leopard and lynx cubs

Feline baby boom at the Nashville Zoo! Pictured above is a baby clouded leopard (left) and a baby Eurasian lynx (right). Photo credit: Amiee Stubbs, Nashville Zoo.

The Nashville Zoo experienced a feline baby boom recently, welcoming two clouded leopard cubs and one Eurasian lynx cub!

The two female clouded leopards were born on April 30 and are currently being hand-raised by zoo staff.

Clouded leopard cubs

Newborn clouded leopard cubs. Photo credit Amiee Stubbs, Nashville Zoo.

Said Rick Schwartz, Nashville Zoo president. “Once they get a little older, these cubs will leave us and serve as ambassadors for clouded leopard conservation at zoos across the country.”

The Nashville Zoo participates in the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, which aims to conserve these rare cats. Breeding clouded leopards is difficult because males are often aggressive and kill potential female partners.

On May 4, the zoo welcomed a female Eurasian lynx, who is also being hand-raised by animal care staff. This little cub will eventually join an educational outreach program at another zoo.

Eurasian lynx cub

Newborn Eurasian lynx shows some personality at the Nashville Zoo. Photo credit Amiee Stubbs.

Eurasian lynx are the largest of the lynx species and inhabit Central Asian, European and Siberian forests.

Three Clouded Leopards Born at Nashville Zoo

Clouded leopard cubs

This month marked another significant step in the conservation of clouded leopards.  Three cubs were born to parents Jing Jai and Arun at the Nashville Zoo.  As mentioned in a previous post where two clouded leopard cubs were born at the National Zoo, breeding these wildcats in captivity has proven difficult.  Many times the male leopard will kill the female or the female will kill her cubs.  So the birth of three cubs is a momentus occasion.

Clouded leopards are endangered in the wild (southeast Asia) due to hunting.

For more info: Tennessean.com