Baby Elephant at Twycross Zoo

Baby elephant at Twycross Zoo.

The baby elephant born on March 4 at Twycross Zoo is now on view! Photo by Twycross Zoo.

The Twycross Zoo welcomed a baby Asian elephant on March 4! The healthy female calf will nurse 11 liters (~3 gallons) of milk a day from her mother Noorjahan until she is 12 months old.

Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences, said: “The calf was born at approximately 2.30am and was up on its feet after a matter of minutes. The infant has bonded very well with mum, who is doing an exceptional job of taking care of her.”

Sarah Chapman, Head of Veterinary Services, added: “The herd’s behaviour was monitored by the vet and animal teams via CCTV, and it was good to see that all members of the herd were very excited by the new arrival and very interested in the infant. All the females continue to take a huge interest in the calf and are very protective of her. This is perfectly natural, with Aunties playing a very important ‘babysitting’ role in the natural herd structure.”

The IUCN lists the Asian elephant as endangered. In the wild, they live in fragmented populations in various countries across southeast Asia. Their population has been dramatically reduced and the quality of habitat is declining.

Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Learn more at the Twycross Zoo website.

Endangered Baby Orangutan at Twycross Zoo

Bornean orangutan

A new addition to the Twycross Zoo: a baby Bornean orangutan! Photo by Twycross Zoo.

Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered Bornean orangutan. The baby ape, born on November 28, is happy, healthy and doing very well. The newborn is 36-year-old Kibriah’s fourth offspring.

Bornean orangutan mother and baby

Mother Kibriah with her new baby.

Great Ape Team Leader, Simon Childs, said: “We’re all very proud. Kibriah is a very loving mum and she’s doing such a great job. She is holding the baby very close so we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl just yet. When we find out the sex, we can then start to think of a name for him or her. At this stage we don’t mind what sex it is, we’re just happy to have another healthy infant.”

According to Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences: “The Bornean orangutan is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist (IUCN), with fewer than 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild. As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation.  Experts now agree that orangutans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”

Learn more about Bornean orangutans at our orangutan facts page.

For more about the new addition at the Twycross Zoo, see their website.

Bush Dog Pups at the Twycross Zoo

Bush dog babies

The Twycross Zoo welcomed three bush dog babies on August 21. Photo credit: Twycross Zoo.

The Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three South American bush dogs! First time parents Japura (mother) and Aztek (father) have done an excellent job caring for the litter.

Zookeeper Chris Simpson commented: “When we arrived on the morning of the 21st August we knew Japura had given birth overnight, but it took a week or so to confirm there were three pups in the litter. They are yet to be sexed so we haven’t got names for the new arrivals at the moment.”

Bush dog carrying pup

Mother Japura carries one of the pups. Photo credit: Gillian Day / Twycross Zoo.

This is the first litter of bush dogs the Twycross Zoo has had in almost a decade. According to team leader Julian Chapman, “The fact that these animals have produced their first litter within a year of moving into their new enclosure is a testament to the thought and effort that the staff at Twycross Zoo are putting into the redevelopment of the animal enclosures.”

In the wild, bush dogs inhabit Central and South America. Well-adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, they have webbed feet to help them swim. They are also unique in that they produce a strong scent that resembles vinegar.

Bush dogs are considered near threatened by the IUCN due to loss habitat for farming, loss of prey species, and an increase in diseases affecting canines.

For more info, see the Twycross Zoo website.

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.