Wildlife

Cheetahs Chase Balls Flung by Cheetahpult / Oregon Zoo

A custom-made contraption has catapulted the Oregon Zoo’s cheetahs toward a new level of fitness. Dubbed the cheetahpult, it’s an 2.4 metre wooden device that flings a ball far enough for a cheetah — the fastest land animal on earth — to chase. After more conventional ball launchers fell short, the cheetahpult was designed and built by staff members with the zoo’s speediest residents in mind — via Youtube

Wildlife

Cheetah Cubs / San Diego Zoo Safari Park

These 7-week-old Cheetahs were born 6 January at San Diego Zoo Global’s off-site Cheetah Breeding Centre to an inexperienced mum named Malana. In an effort to care for her cubs, Malana inadvertently caused minor injuries to them. After being with their mother for five weeks, the cubs were taken to the Animal Care Centre to be monitored for medical issues. Keepers will keep close watch over them, feeding them a special diet of soft carnivore food and formula, and weighing them to monitor their health. After they turn 12 weeks old and receive their three-month immunisation, they will be returned to their home at the Cheetah Breeding Centre — via Youtube

Wildlife

Akeno, the greater one horned rhino calf / Chester Zoo

Zookeepers have revealed the name of a rare baby rhino born last month.

Meet Akeno, the greater one horned rhino calf — only the second of his kind to ever be born at the zoo.

The name Akeno is of Asian origin, meaning beautiful sunrise. And since his birth, he’s definitely been giving his mum the run-around.

Greater one horned rhinos can weigh up to 2.4 tonnes but, despite their bulky size, they can run at speeds of up to 40 kph.

And although at just one-month-old Akeno has a lot of growing to do, keepers say he has bundles of energy and is proving a real handful for mum, Asha — via Youtube

Wildlife

Xena / Longleat

An abandoned Cheetah cub is being hand reared by her keeper at Longleat. The female cub has been nicknamed Xena, after the warrior princess, which also marks her battling qualities. Xena spent her first ten days being cared for by her mum, Wilma. However, keepers discovered the tiny cub was cold, weak and alone on 19 April. Despite numerous unsuccessful attempts to get mother and baby back together, the decision was taken by keepers to remove the cub and rear her by hand — via Youtube

Wildlife

Cotswold Wildlife Park is now home to three new Wolverine kits. After spending approximately nine weeks hidden away in their underground den, the triplets are beginning to venture out and explore their new woodland enclosure under the watchful eye of parents, Sarka and Sharapova — via Zoo Borns

Wildlife

ZooTampa at Lowry Park visitors may now be able to see a litter of new Red Wolf puppies, which are the most critically endangered Wolf species in the world. Born in late April, in a natural den dug by their mother, Yona, the pups are living much as they would in the wild — via Zoo Borns

Wildlife

Capron Park Zoo, in Attleboro, MA, excitedly announced the birth of three Fennec Fox kits. Two females and one male were born on 7 March to five-year-old mum, Hannah, and two-year-old dad, Taz. According to Zoo staff, this the second litter for the parents — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Cheetah Cubs / San Diego Zoo Safari Park

These 7-week-old Cheetahs were born 6 January at San Diego Zoo Global’s off-site Cheetah Breeding Centre to an inexperienced mum named Malana. In an effort to care for her cubs, Malana inadvertently caused minor injuries to them. After being with their mother for five weeks, the cubs were taken to the Animal Care Centre to be monitored for medical issues. Keepers will keep close watch over them, feeding them a special diet of soft carnivore food and formula, and weighing them to monitor their health. After they turn 12 weeks old and receive their three-month immunization, they will be returned to their home at the Cheetah Breeding Centre — via Youtube

Science, Wildlife

Why do animals have such different lifespans? / Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

For the microscopic lab worm C elegans, life equates to just a few short weeks on Earth. The bowhead whale, on the other hand, can live over two hundred years. Why are these lifespans so different? And what does it really mean to age anyway? Joao Pedro de Magalhaes explains why the pace of ageing varies greatly across animals.

Lesson by Joao Pedro de Magalhaes, animation by Sharon Colman — via Youtube

Design, Wildlife

The chief feature of any BEEcosystem hive is that it gives a literal window into the bee colony it houses. The hexagon-shaped module is framed in cedar and fronted with a pane of glass. Side vents can be opened and closed to connect multiple modules or to keep the bees contained if you need to move the hive.

How do the bees get inside your house? The hive can be connected to a tube that runs to a small window unit—sort of like a miniature version of vent tube for a portable air conditioner. The window unit has the added benefit of providing bees with an ideal platform for take-off and landing. The tube has a safety mechanism that instantly snaps closed if it’s ever disconnected.

BEEcosystems start at $599 for a one-hex hive — via Curbed

Wildlife

Taronga Zoo is celebrating the breeding success of more than twenty Feathertail Gliders, one of the smallest mammals in the world.

Twelve different female adult Feathertail Glider’s fell pregnant at a similar time with the joeys, and the mothers now communally care for one another’s young — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Cheetah cubs / Saint Louis Zoo

For the first time in Saint Louis Zoo history, a cheetah has given birth to eight cheetah cubs. The cubs, three males and five females, were born at the Saint Louis Zoo River’s Edge Cheetah Breeding Centre on 26 November, 2017. Mother and cubs are doing well and will remain in their private, indoor maternity den behind the scenes at River’s Edge for the next several months — via Youtube

Wildlife

In cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Feline Conservation Centre, Oakland Zoo has taken in two orphaned Mountain Lion cubs. The cubs were found separately in Orange County, two weeks apart from each other. Due to their ages and geographic proximity to each other when rescued, Oakland Zoo veterinarians will conduct DNA testing to determine if they are, in fact, siblings — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

Two Critically Endangered Malayan Tiger cubs at the Prague Zoo are beginning to show their personalities. The cubs — one male and one female — were born on 3 October and only recently came out of the den with their mother, Banya. The animal care team chose the name Bulan for the male and Wanita for the female — via ZooBorns

Wildlife

The Houston Zoo’s four-month-old Jaguar cubs recently made their public debut. Fitz and his sister, Emma, were born to first-time parents Maya and Tesoro on 20 July. The cubs have been behind-the-scenes with mum the past few months — via ZooBorns

Science, Wildlife

If Australian animals don’t poison you or eat you, they’ll burn down your house

Already replete with sharks, crocodiles, snakes and poisonous jellyfish galore, Australia may also be home to arsonist birds that spread fire so they can feed on animals as they flee.

The belief that birds like the Whistling Kite, Black Kite and Brown Falcon spread grass fires goes back so far that it’s commemorated in indigenous ceremonial dances, according to Bob Gosford, a co-author of this paper in the Journal of Enthnobiology.

The paper posits that the behaviour isn’t accidental: Most accounts and traditions unequivocally indicate intentionality on the part of three raptor species and a handful provide evidence of cooperative fire-spreading by select individuals from within larger fire-foraging raptor assemblages, it notes.

And while the researchers’ main interest was to confirm and document those stories, Gosford told Vulture South the research is also important to understanding how fire spreads in Australia.

This may give us cause to re-examine fire history, and the conduct of fire in this country, Gosford said — via The Register

Wildlife

Meet the Dog Protecting Planes From Bird Strikes / Great Big Story

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce, it’s Piper the Aviation Bird Dog, ready for duty. Alongside his handler Brian Edwards, the dynamic duo protects the planes at Cherry Capital Airport from bird strikes. Birds can pose a huge threat to flight safety, but when they see Piper on his way, geese, ducks and gulls flee the runways. It’s an important job, but not one without its share of fun — via Youtube