Wildlife

RZSS Edinburgh Zoo keepers are hearing the pitter-patter of tiny hooves with the birth of an endangered Malayan Tapir calf.

The female calf, born on 18 September, has been named Maya. The new arrival was welcomed by mother, Sayang, and father, Mowgli, and is being well cared for by her experienced mum — via Zoo Borns

Wildlife

Los Angeles Zoo Introduces Endangered Snow Leopard Cubs

Los Angeles Zoo has announced the birth of two endangered snow leopard cubs, a male and a female, born on 12 May and 13 May 2017. The siblings spent several months behind the scenes bonding with their mother and getting to know animal care staff. Now, at four months old, the cubs have gained enough strength and coordination to navigate their outdoor habitat and make their public debut — via Youtube

Wildlife

African Cheetah v Meerkats / Dolph C Volker

Kinji the Cheetah is something special. He honestly tries making friends with everyone… especially the animals that lives within his reach. Here he is at 8 months and 2 years old trying to get the meerkats to scratch him. He ends up purring to the delight of getting a grooming from these small creatures. He has no idea they want to kill him. Meerkats are territorial and do not like predators — via Youtube

Wildlife

Toronto Zoo‘s four-month-old Clouded Leopard cubs are transitioning to a new play space and zoo guests can now see the sisters during limited times on most days — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

A baby Fossa (pronounced FOO-sa) was born this summer at the San Diego Zoo.  Now 12 weeks old, the Fossa pup, its mother and three siblings moved into their new home in the Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit last week and wasted no time exploring—jumping over grassy areas, climbing on rocks and playing in trees — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

A blue-eyed bundle of fluff arrived at Tierpark Berlin on 13 June: Kitai the Snow Leopard cub. Kitai was born to parents Maya and Bataar, both six years old. This is their third litter together — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Black Rhino Calf Kendi / Cincinnati Zoo

Three-week-old black rhino calf Kendi is making short visits outside. First-time-mum Seyia is being cautious, so the mum and calf duo are still hanging out inside more than they go out. Visitors may see Kendi bouncing around, peeking out or even venturing into the yard. Sightings will become more frequent as Kendi gets more comfortable in the new environment — via Youtube

Wildlife
Maratus melindae corus

Meet the newest peacock spiders: ‘People still get excited when they see them’

This photo isn’t fake.

These tiny, dazzling spiders are 100 per cent real — and scientists have just discovered another five species and sub-species in Western Australia.

They’re called peacock spiders and self-described peacock spiderman Jurgen Otto has spent years discovering and photographing them.

When he first spotted one of the unique creatures in bushland near Sydney about a decade ago, he said he almost stepped on it.

I took a photograph and then later I went home, looked at it on the computer and was just blown away, Dr Otto said.

When I started with all this, there was not a single picture or video of a peacock spider on the internet.

Nine years later now, you get many thousand hits when you type peacock spider into Google.

The reaction of people when they see the latest finds remains the same.

One could think that the novelty of this would all have worn off by now, but people still get excited when they see them, he said.

Each new species is a complete surprise — the patterns and colours of each species are so different and so unpredictable, you never know what the next one and its display and courtship dance will look like.

Most of the five discoveries were spotted in south-western WA, but peacock spiders can be found across southern Australia.

Dr Otto estimates there are now more than 60 species and sub-species of Australian peacock spiders. Thirty-nine of them were named by himself and fellow spider expert David Hill — via ABC News

Wildlife

Burgers’ Zoo is now home to five Golden Jackal pups. Until recently, they have been safely tucked away with mum in their underground den, which makes it difficult for keepers to pinpoint their exact birthdate. They are now spending more time above ground and keepers estimate them to be about three-months-old — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is excited to announce the 23 May birth of a Pallas’s Cat kitten. The kitten’s birth marked the second live offspring ever produced with artificial insemination in Pallas’s Cat — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

The Minnesota Zoo is excited to welcome a new male Puma kitten, named Landslide, to their Medtronic Minnesota Trail exhibit — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Five fluffy Cheetah cubs made their public debut this week at Australia’s Monarto Zoo.

Born in March to mother Kesho, the cubs immediately began exploring their new environment after bonding with Kesho in a private den for about three months.

One of the cubs is a male, and the other four are females — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

The Most Famous Dog Who Ever Lived / Chris Hadfield’s Rare Earth

Dogs!

Enough about humans and more about some creatures that matter, you no doubt were saying in your mind. So here’s a story on pets. This is the story of Hachiko, who is likely the most famous dog in human history. But what is it about this dog that convinced the world to take notice?

We went around Japan to tell the story of the loyal dog who unwittingly saved his breed. Say hello to Hachiko, a very good dog — via Youtube

Wildlife

Tiny Male Otter Pup / Vancouver Aquarium

A tiny male sea otter pup — estimated to be just two to four weeks old — is now in 24-hour care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, after concerned members of the public found it swimming alone in open water off northern Vancouver Island on Sunday. Although the pup appears healthy, he requires care night and day from the Rescue Centre team, just as he would from his mother. Staff and volunteers are spending shifts feeding, bathing and grooming the newborn pup, which has not yet been named — via Youtube

Wildlife

Wolf Pup Cross Fostering / Brookfield Zoo

On 22 April, five Mexican Gray Wolf Puppies were born to Zana and Flint at Brookfield Zoo. As part of the US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, two puppies were cross fostered with a wild pack. Staff worked with USFWS to transfer two of Brookfield Zoo’s pups to New Mexico, and in return, brought two wild pups back to join the Brookfield Zoo pack. This exchange of pups increases genetic diversity in the endangered Mexican Gray Wolf population — via Youtube

Wildlife

A trio of month-old Bat-eared Fox kits are stealing hearts at Germany’s Zoo Krefeld since they emerged from their den in early June. It’s been ten years since Bat-eared Foxes were born at Zoo Krefeld, and the arrival of a new female in February revived the breeding program — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Black rhino calf Moyo / Saint Louis Zoo

Tough guy Moyo doesn’t have his horns yet, but that doesn’t stop him practicing his charge. The 2-week-old black rhinoceros calf is very active and zookeepers provide him with a variety of toys and enrichment throughout the day. Play is important for baby animals — it’s how they learn the skills they will need as adults.

A male black rhinoceros calf was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on 17 May 2017. The little male is nursing well and being cared for by his mother, according to the Zoo’s rhino care team. The pair is bonding in their barn behind the scenes in River’s Edge. A date has not yet been set for their public debut — via Youtube

Wildlife

Baby Rhino Born Thanks to Science / San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A female southern white rhino calf, born 30 April to first-time mother Kiazi and father Maoto, curiously checked out her surroundings 18 May at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, under the watchful eye of her attentive mother.

Kiazi’s pregnancy was very exciting for researchers at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. She arrived at the Safari Park in 2008 and, despite breeding regularly since her arrival, she had never before conceived. At 16 years old, she is past the average age that most female southern white rhinos have their first calf.

The birth of Kiazi’s calf gives us a great deal of hope that by feeding low phytoestrogens at our institution and others, we can once again have a healthy, self-sustaining captive southern white rhinoceros population, said Christopher Tubbs, PhD, a senior scientist in Reproductive Sciences at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. With the high level of poaching currently happening in Africa, having a healthy ex situ population of rhinos is as important as ever. This calf is an example of how we are using cutting-edge laboratory science to lead the fight against extinction.

Tubbs and his colleagues have been working for nine years to determine why southern white rhino females born in zoos tend not to bear offspring as often as their wild relatives. This problem is not found in other species of rhinos living in zoos. Through extensive research, it was discovered that the animals may be sensitive to compounds called phytoestrogens found in soy and alfalfa, which are a component of the animals’ diets in zoos. During their 16-month gestation, female calves could be exposed to the compounds through their mother’s diet, resulting in infertility issues later in their life.

On the basis of these findings, the nutritional services team at San Diego Zoo Global changed the diet for southern white rhinos in 2014. First, they reduced the amount of pellets rich with soy and alfalfa that are fed to the rhinos. Next, they developed a grass-based pellet for the rhinos that is low in phytoestrogen and supplies nutrients to support reproduction. Approximately two years after the diet changes, two females became pregnant. Since then, there have been three pregnancies in females that had not successfully reproduced before, which resulted in the birth of two healthy calves.

Although Tubbs and his team have only focused on the potential effects of dietary phytoestrogens in white rhinos, it is likely that a number of species living in zoo settings receive diets containing levels of phytoestrogens capable of affecting reproduction. Therefore, future research efforts will focus on identifying species that are possibly affected, evaluating their sensitivity to phytoestrogens and, if warranted, developing new diets and feeding practices aimed at enhancing fertility.

The research project has reached a real point of urgency, due to the increase in poaching in recent years that has dramatically affected rhino populations in the wild. When the project began in 2007, 13 rhinos were poached (that year). In 2016, 1,054 southern white rhinos were poached in South Africa—with an average of three rhinos killed every day. There are five species of rhinos, with three of those species—black, Javan and Sumatran—listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The greater one-horned rhino is listed as Vulnerable and the southern white rhino is listed as Near Threatened.

Kiazi’s calf is the 96th southern white rhino calf born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since 1972. Estimated to weigh around 125 pounds at birth, the calf will nurse from her mother for up to 14 months—and she is expected to gain about 100 pounds a month in her first year. When full grown, at around 3 years of age, she could weigh 4,000 to 5,000 pounds. The rhino calf and her mum can best be seen roaming their habitat from the Park’s Africa Tram Safari or a Caravan Safari — via Youtube

Wildlife

Utah’s Hogle Zoo is pleased to introduce their new Amur Leopard cubs, Rafferty and Roman. The cubs were born 17 February and have been bonding with mum, Zeya, behind the scenes, learning all the basics of being an Amur Leopard. Rafferty’s name means one who possess prosperity, and Roman means strong, powerful — via ZooBorns