Berlin Zoo

Five Baby Capybaras Born at Zoo Berlin

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Zoo Berlin recently welcomed five baby Capybaras to their South American exhibit!  Born just several weeks ago, the five pups, along with mother, Lucia, explored their enclosure for the first time!  Careful to stay close to mother and each other, they enjoyed their time investigating various aspects of their home at the zoo.

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Capybara_Zoo Berlin_4Photo credits: Zoo Berlin

Native to South America, the Capybara is classified as the largest rodent in the world.  They have a distinctly large, blunt head and a pig-like appearance. Capybaras are capable of running as fast as a horse.  However, they enjoy a semi–aquatic lifestyle and prefer habitats in lowlands, close to water.  They can be found in greater numbers on flooded grasslands, where water, dry ground, and pasture are readily available.  Capybaras possess physical traits that aid their love of swimming.  Their ears, eyes and nostrils are positioned high on their heads, enabling those features to remain above water as they swim.  Their bodies contain large amounts of fatty tissue, which provides buoyancy.  Also, they have partially webbed feet.

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Palawan Bengal Cats Are First of Berlin Zoo's Breeding Program

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One year after their arrival at Zoo Berlin in Germany, a pair of Palawan Bengal Cats has had a litter of two! The two kittens, a male and a female, have been named Ilian and Taytay, after two places on the island of Palawan, the island in the Philippines where this subspecies of the Leopard Cat originates. 

Ilian and Taytay are very special cats: they are the first offspring of Zoo Berlin's breeding program for this subspecies, which is listed as Vulnerable to extinction by the Interantional Union for Conservation of Nature. Zoo Berlin is currently one of only two zoos outside of the Philippines to house Palawan Bengal Cats. The zoo is working to establish a breeding program that will build up a healthy population of Palawan Bengal Cats across zoos. Members of this captive-bred population can eventually be reintroduced on Palawan, to help the wild population recover. In the fall, once they are mature, Ilian and Taytay will move to Prague Zoo and Pilsen Zoo in the Czech Republic. 

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Hyena Cub Will Earn His Spots at Berlin Zoo

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On July 27, a Spotted Hyena named Malindi gave birth to a healthy male cub at Berlin Zoo. The cub, named Toki, was born with a beautiful black coat, which will start to lighten over the next few weeks to resemble his parent's speckled fur. 

The cub's father, Kara, also lives at Berlin Zoo. But as in the wild, he won't play a role in rearing his offspring. In Hyena packs, females are dominant over males, and raise their pups on their own, so it's understandable that Kara keeps a bit of distance from the rest of the family.

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Spotted Hyena are common on the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. They were long seen as scavengers, but they are in fact persistent hunters, capturing up to 70% of their own food themselves, including large like gazelles, wildebeest and zebras. 


Meet Zoo Berlin’s Blue-eyed Baby Caracal Quadruplets

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Four fluffy Caracal kittens were born on July 21 at Germany’s Zoo Berlin.  The two male and two female cubs, with their rusty-colored coats, bright blue eyes, and long black ear-tips, are now out of the nest box and charming zoo visitors.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Berlin

Parents Sarek and Amanda came to the zoo from South Africa in 2004, and have reliably produced offspring nearly every year since. Quadruplets are rare in Caracals, making this litter of kittens unique.  The subspecies living at Zoo Berlin has an intense cinnamon-red coat color.

The name Caracal is derived from the Turkish “kara kulak,” which means “black ear,” referring to the black ear tufts, which can be nearly half the length of the ear itself.  These tufts probably aid in sound detection.

Caracals, also known as Desert Lynx, are widely distributed throughout Africa, Central Asia, and parts of India.  They inhabit dry steppes and rocky terrain.  Caracals are becoming rare in parts of their range, particularly in North Africa, Central Asia, and India.

 

 


Shiva Gets Her Shots at Zoo Berlin

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Shiva, a rare Persian Leopard cub born at Zoo Berlin, was not shy about voicing her displeasure when she received her latest round of vaccinations. 

Despite Shiva's disapproval, it was important for the veterinary staff to vaccinate the cub against feline distemper and other diseases.  This was a challenging task because Shiva had to be separated from her mother, Yerevan.  Since her birth on July 1, Shiva and her mother have been inseparable.  Shiva made her public debut last week.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Berlin

Shiva is the fifth cub for Yerevan, age 11.  Shiva’s father Haakon is age 16 – quite an advanced age for a big cat.

Persian Leopards were once found throughout central Asia, but they now live only in fragmented populations in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the Caucasus.  Iran holds the largest population of wild Persian Leopards, with about 700 remaining there.  These small, separate groups of Leopards are threatened by further loss of habitat, armed conflict, and reduction of prey species.  Currently, about 100 Persian Leopards live in zoos, where managed breeding programs could counteract the long-term decline of these cats in the wild.


The Adventures Begin for Zoo Berlin's Ocelot Kitten

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Kittens always seem to be crowd-pleasers, but sometimes it takes a little while for them to venture outside. Zoo Berlin welcomed an Ocelot kitten on July 16, and the little one has been nursing, sleeping and growing strong out of the public's sight, until recently. Keepers have noticed some stirrings now that the kitten is about nine weeks old. Even though these cats are mostly nocturnal, visitors have an increasing chance of catching a glimpse of the beautifully-patterned mother and baby.  As the zoo's press release noted, the elusive nature of these creatures might not be the best draw for the zoo— but it certainly is typical cat! The nine-year-old mother does a good job keeping her baby out of sight. 

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Ocelots live in a variety of ecosystems in Central and South America, from tropical forests of all types to grasslands, coastal mangroves and marshes, and thorny scrublands. Their range once included the Gulf Coast of the United States, but now only a very small number remain, mostly in south Texas and Arizona. These cats were heavily hunted for their spotted fur, but are now protected throughout most of their range. 

Because Ocelots are solitary and territorial cats, the father is living in a separate enclosure to ensure that mother and baby have the space and privacy that they need. Ocelots have a  fairly low reproductive rate, which poses a challenge to conservation. A litter size of one kitten is typical, and offspring develop slowly.  A kitten's eyes remain closed for up to 18 days, and juveniles often stay with their mother for up to two years before leaving to establish their own territory.


Prickly Porcupette Delights at Zoo Berlin

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Zoo Berlin in Germany has its hands full with a baby Porcupine, or porcupette, born on July 24. The gender is still unknown, and therefore the porcupette remains nameless. Though only a week old, the porcupette has large spines. Unlike the spines of their parents, however, a porcupette's spines are soft and harmless to their mothers during birth.

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Mothers are protective of their babies. When danger is sensed, they puff up their spines, stamp their hind legs on the ground and rattle their hind legs. Because of their spines, nursing can be a challenge for Porcupines. Luckily, the mother's teets are located under her armpits.

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 Photo Credit Zoo Berlin


Meet the New Miniature Donkey Born at Berlin Zoo

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Born at Berlin Zoo in June, this Sardinian Miniature Donkey earns its name. When it stands next to its mom, Grisella, and sister, Pink, who are themselves only waist high, the new foal looks positively tiny. This is the second foal for 8-year-old Grisella, who has proven to be loving and experienced in looking after her baby.

The Sardinian Miniature Donkey is the smallest equine on earth. The breed originated in the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia, but can be found all over the world now. Adults range in height from 26 to 36 inches (66-91cm) and weigh between 200 and 300 pounds (90-136 kg). The most common color is gray, like this foal, usually with a dark stripe on their back. Donkeys are herd animals and need to be given a companion. If another donkey is not available, they can easily bond with a pony, llama, goat, or cow. Sometimes they also make friends with the family dog!

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Photo Credit: Berlin Zoo


Giant Anteater Born at Zoo Berlin

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Zoo Berlin welcomed a baby Giant Anteater on May 26. The baby, named Evita by her keepers, is a female. The name was chosen because "E" is the fifth letter in the alphabet, and this is mom Griseline's fifth surviving baby. Before Evita there were Adolpho, Benita, Carlos, and Danita, all born at Berlin Zoo. Evita is being hand-fed by keepers and receives three additional bottle meals per day.

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Evita was just 1,570 grams, or 3.5 pounds, when she was born, but has now increased her weight to 2.5 kg, or 5.5 pounds. She's strong enough to ride on her mother's back — a behavior that is common in Giant Anteaters. Keepers, however, must keep a close eye on Evita since her coloration makes it difficult to distinguish her from her mother's fur.

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Giant Anteaters are insectivores native to South America. As the name implies, their diets consist of ants as well as other small insects. They use their strong claws to tear open termite mounds and anthills. Since Giant Anteaters have no teeth, their two-foot-long tongues and sticky saliva help them to extract the insects.

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Photo Credit Zoo Berlin


White Canadian Wolf Parents Have a Play Day with Their Five Pups

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Whose little feet are those? They belong to one of the new White Canadian Wolf pups born at Berlin Zoo. On April 29, keepers noticed that the four-year-old Ava, who had been pregnant, emerged from the wolf cave looking considerably leaner. It was not long before five pups ventured out to be seen by staff and visitors alike. They sport their puppy coat of brownish spotted fur, but in time will come to have the magnificent white coat of their parents.

The Arctic or White Wolf inhabits the Canadian Arctic and the islands, parts of Alaska and northern parts of Greenland. All wolves in Canada are members of the species Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Like those in the U.S., Canadian wolves can range from coal black to off-white in color, but most have a creamy white coat. The white hair shafts have more air pockets than those with pigmentation, therefore providing better insulation in a climate that at best is cool in mid-summer but can become absolutely frigid in the dark of their long winter.

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Photo Credit: Berlin Zoo

Canadian wolves are usually larger than their counterparts in the United States, an adaptation that came about because the north has much larger prey, like caribou and moose, compared to the US wolves who feed on smaller mammals. Wolf packs tend to be larger in Alaska and Canada - up to 10 or even 20 animals per pack.