Scottish Wildcats / Edinburgh Zoo

Two rare Scottish Wildcats, born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo, may help provide a lifeline for the iconic species.

The kittens will join a conservation breeding programme, which it is hoped will save the species from extinction in the wild through future reintroductions — via Zoo Borns


Red Wolf puppies / ZooTampa

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


All Mine / Red Wolf

All Mine and Whatcha doing? originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Yellow Rose + Camellia japonica / Red Wolf

Yellow Rose, Yellow Rose and Camellia japonica originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Rescued Little Penguins Return to the Wild / Taronga Zoo

On Tuesday, 17 April, Taronga Wildlife Hospital staff released five healthy Little Penguins into the ocean after nursing them back to health in Sydney, Australia. The birds arrived at Taronga from nearby beaches over the past two months. Injuries included dehydration, a fishing hook injury and a broken foot — via Youtube


Fennec Fox Trio / Capron Park Zoo

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


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


Bushfire / Red Wolf

Bushfire, Bushfire, Bushfire, Bushfire beyond the playground, Bushfire, Bushfire and Bushfire at night originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Golden penda tree (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) / Red Wolf

Golden penda tree (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) and Golden penda tree (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Frangipani + Oleander + Rose / Red Wolf

Frangipani (Plumeria), Nerium oleander and Bi colour rose originally uploaded by Red Wolf

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

HexHives / BEEcosystem

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


Lakenfelder + Ayrshire + Alpacas + Lute / Red Wolf

Lakenfelder, Ayrshire, Alpacas and Lute originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Geese + Frizzle+ Crested / Red Wolf

Chinese Goose, Öland Geese, Öland Goose, Frizzle, Frizzle and Crested originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Chooks + Ducks + Geese / Red Wolf

Japanese Silkie, Brabanter, Dutch Bantam, Japanese Silkie, Mallard and Embden Goose originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Agave + Chooks / Red Wolf

Agave, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Dutch Bantam, Ancona, Plymouth Rock and Golden Laced Wyandotte originally uploaded by Red Wolf


The Curious Case of Spider Rain / Today I Found Out

Worryingly described by entomologists and arachnologists as a not uncommon occurrence in certain parts of the globe, spider rain can see anywhere from a few thousand to several million spiders tumble from the sky in a given area, seemingly out of nowhere — via Youtube


Feathertail Gliders / Taronga Zoo

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


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


Mountain Lion Orphans / Oakland Zoo

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


Malayan Tiger Cubs / Prague Zoo

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


Baird’s Tapir / Franklin Park Zoo

The calf was born at Franklin Park Zoo at 3.06pm on 1 January 1 to Milton, a 28-year-old male, and Abby, a 13-year-old female. This is the fourth offspring for Milton and Abby. Given the small size of the North American captive population, this is a very important birth for this endangered species — via Youtube


Jaguar Cubs / Houston Zoo

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


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