Wildlife Blog

Endangered Crown Lemur Born at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago proudly welcomed a baby crowned lemur on April 15. The sex and measurements of the lemur infant are still to be determined because mother Tucker is keeping her newborn close.

“With any birth, our animal care staff carefully monitors the new arrival to ensure they are passing critical milestones,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “Tucker is an attentive and experienced mother and the infant is holding tight to her and regularly nursing, which is exactly what we’d hope to see.”

Baby crowned lemur

Lincoln Park Zoo welcomed a crowned lemur infant on April 15. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Crowned lemur baby and mother at Lincoln Park Zoo

Crowned lemur mama Tucker is keeping her baby tucked in safely. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

In the wild, crowned lemurs inhabit the forests of Madagascar. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN), crowned lemurs are considered endangered due to forest loss caused by slash-and-burn practices, habitat fragmentation, charcoal production, mining and other human-wildlife conflict.

 

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It’s a Girl! Taronga Western Plains Zoo Welcomes Baby Black Rhino

It’s a girl! This baby black rhino was born on April 11. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia, welcomed a southern black rhinoceros calf on April 11. The female calf, the first baby for mother Kufara, weighed around 25-30kg (55-66 lbs.) at birth.

“Both mother and calf are doing well. Kufara is very cautious and protective of her calf which is a natural behavior for a first-time mother. We are really happy with the maternal behaviors Kufara is displaying. She is very attentive and ensuring her calf suckles frequently which is all very positive,” said keeper Linda Matthews.

For now, the baby calf and mother will bond behind the scenes at the zoo. They will go on public display in late June.

Baby black rhino

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Female black rhino calf and mother

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Southern black rhinoceros calf and mama at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

In the wild, the are only about 4,200 black rhinos roaming the deserts and grasslands of Africa. They are classified as critically endangered. Poaching remains a significant threat due to rising demand for their horn, which is used in Asian medicine.

Featured Animal: Bottlenose Dolphin

Meet our featured animal: the bottlenose dolphin!

National Dolphin Day takes place Friday, April 14, 2017!

Here are five fun facts about bottlenose dolphins:

  • Dolphins are marine mammals, which means they must come to the surface of the water to breathe. They can hold their breath for up to 7 minutes!
  • Dolphins can exhale air at 160 km/hr (100 mph) through their blowholes.
  • Dolphins never fully sleep. One side of their brain must always be active so that they remember to breathe. (They are not involuntary breathers like humans. They must consciously swim to the surface to take a breath.)
  • Dolphins have a nearly 360-degree field of vision, and they can move one eye independently of the other.
  • Dolphins produce high-frequency clicks that humans can’t hear. They use these clicks in a sonar system called echolocation. When the clicking sound reaches an object, it bounces back to the dolphin as an echo. Dolphins can process this information to determine the shape, size, speed, distance, and location of the object.

Learn more about dolphins at our bottlenose dolphin article.

Saving Baby Raccoons

One of the baby raccoons.

The Oakland Zoo and WildCare, a wildlife hospital and environmental education center, teamed up to save the lives of five baby raccoons. The raccoons had accidentally been transported from Florida to San Fransisco in the back of a moving truck. Wildcare took in the babies and nursed them back to health. Normally, Wilcare releases all rehabbed animals back to the wild, but that was not an option for these raccoons, who were so far from home.

The Oakland Zoo stepped in to take care of the animals until a permanent home can be found.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Three cheetah cubs were born to their mother, Kyan late last year at the Taronga Western Plains zoo in Australia.  They are currently out of the view of the public and spending time with their mother. The zoo plans to unveil them to the public in March of this year.

PHOTOS: Lincoln Park Zoo Welcomes Baby Colobus Monkey on Christmas Day

Colobus monkey baby and mother

Newborn black-and-white colobus monkey with mother Kutaka at Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo.

It was a white Christmas at the Lincoln Park Zoo as they welcomed a newborn black-and-white colobus monkey on December 25.

The baby monkey was born to 12-year old mother Kutaka and 23-year old father Keanjaha. At birth, black-and-white colobus monkeys have all white fur. The signature black markings start to appear around 3 weeks and are fully evident around 3-4 months.

“Kutaka is an extremely attentive mother,” said Curator of Primates Maureen Leahy. “We’re excited for the newest member of the multi-generational colobus troop to interact with the entire family from juvenile to geriatric members. In fact, we’ve already observed the infant’s aunt and older sister briefly carrying the new infant, a species-typical behavior called alloparenting or ‘aunting behavior.'”

Colobus monkey baby and mother

The sex and measurements of the newborn are yet to be determined as the baby is clinging tight to mom. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo.

Black-and-white colobus monkeys are one of five different species of colobus monkey. In the wild, they are native to equatorial Africa.

For more information, see the Lincoln Park Zoo website.

TWO Sets of Ring-Tailed Lemur Twins Born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Baby lemurs and mother

Seeing Double: Two sets of ring-tailed lemur twins were born at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo earlier this year. They will be on exhibit in the new year.

Visitors at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo can look forward to baby lemurs on public display in the new year.  Two sets of ring-tailed lemur twins were born to new mothers Rakita and Cleo in October.

“So far the mothers and their babies are doing well and we are very happy with progress to date. Both mums are quite protective and are very careful of the way they move around and the speed at which they move around, ensuring their babies are holding on properly,” said zookeeper Sasha Brook.

Baby lemurs and mother

Baby lemurs instinctively cling to their mothers, but they will gradually learn to walk, jump and climb. Photo by Rick Stevens, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The baby lemurs will cling to their mothers until they are about four months old. At this stage, they also start to chew on food, but they won’t be weaned from their mothers until two months old. They will gradually learn how to walk, jump, and climb within safe proximity of their mothers.

Baby lemurs and mother

Baby lemurs mouth and chew on food at a young age, but this is not for nutritional purposes at this point. They will wean from their mothers at 2 months old. Photo by Rick Stevens, Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

For more information about the baby lemur twins, see the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.

To learn more about lemurs, see our Ring-tailed Lemur facts article.

Giraffes Now Vulnerable of Extinction

Giraffe

Film still from “Last of the Longnecks.” Courtesy of Iniosante Studios.

The IUCN has recently reclassified giraffes from a species of least concern to one vulnerable of extinction. Giraffe populations in Africa have declined 40% since 1985. All nine subspecies of giraffe are officially in trouble.

Iniosante Studios has spent the last three years documenting the situation in their film, “Last of the Longnecks,” which has helped bring global awareness to the plight of giraffes and instigated a reclassification by the IUCN. To obtain accurate figures for the IUCN, more than a dozen researchers combed the savannas in trucks, wandered trails on foot, flown in aircraft, and studied remote cameras.

“We’ve been working alongside the researchers in our film for the past three years to sound the alarm,” said Ashley Scott Davison, the film’s director. “Until recently, few people were even aware of the situation facing giraffes. This reclassification by the IUCN is pivotal to get the public to take action for our planet’s tallest animal.”

Watch a trailer of “Last of the Longnecks” below:

To learn more, see the website for “Last of the Longnecks.”

To learn more about giraffes, read our giraffe facts article.

Baby Asian Elephant Makes His Public Debut

Asian elephant calf

Hello there! A male Asian elephant calf makes his public debut at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Last week, zoo visitors got to meet Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s newest arrival: a baby Asian elephant! This was the first Asian elephant born at the zoo in Dubbo, NSW, Australia.

The male calf was born on November 2nd to mother Thong Dee. He was standing on his own within 30 minutes of being born and nursing within hours.

“This is tremendous news for the Australasian conservation breeding program for Asian Elephants. I’m delighted to report that mother and calf are doing well and veterinarians are happy with the calf’s progress at this early stage,” said NSW Environment Minister, Mark Speakman.

Asian elephants

The new baby elephant and mom Thong Dee are doing well. Photo by Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

The zoo will soon be announcing a competition to help choose a name for the calf.

Learn more at the Taronga Conservation Society Australia website.

BBC’s Planet Earth II Sneak Peek

Clip from the BBC’s upcoming Planet Earth II.

Ten years ago, the BBC debuted it’s amazing series, Planet Earth, which documents beautiful, intriguing, and rare moments of life on Earth. Planet Earth II promises to capture even more amazing moments, taking advantage of significant advances in filming technology.  Similar to the original series, Sir David Attenborough will narrate.

Watch the full trailer below: