Bioparc Valencia

New Aardvark Cub for BIOPARC Valencia

1_BIOPARC Valencia - Bebé oricteropo con 2 días de vida

BIOPARC Valencia is the first zoo in Spain to breed the Aardvark. On March 4, they welcomed a new member of this rare species.

The new cub spends valuable time with his attentive mother, but zoo staff follow special protocol in monitoring the new baby. Keepers work to ensure the proper cleanliness of the baby and also provide special care for his skin, which includes needed moisturization and a special humidifier. During the day, while mother is sleeping, staff keep a careful eye to maintain that the baby is nursing every two hours.

The new cub was the zoo’s first baby for the month of March. The cub and mother are currently off-exhibit, but, with the continued healthy progress of the baby, staff anticipate visitors being able to view them very soon.

2_Bebé oricteropo con 3 días de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (3)

3_Bebé oricteropo con 3 días de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (2)

4_Oricteropos - cerdos hormigueros - madre junto a su cría de 3 días de vida - BIOPARC ValenciaPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

The Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal that is native to Africa. It is the only living species of the order Tubulidentata.

According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature): “Aardvarks were originally thought to be congeneric with the South American Anteaters (Myrmecophaga), until they were put in their own genus: Orycteropus. After 1872, Aardvarks were also put in their own order: the Tubulidentata. But this order was long considered to be closely related to the Xenarthrans and the Pangolins in the now obsolete clade "Edentata" (Lehmann 2007). It is only since the beginning of the 20th century, that Aardvarks have been considered to be basal "ungulates". It was also at this time that the seven then recognized species were merged into the single species Orycteropus afer (Shoshani et al. 1988). Since then, Tubulidentata is the only order of Mammals to be represented by a single living species. To date, 18 subspecies have been described (Meester 1971). However, their validity is doubtful and studies in this regard are ongoing. Finally, at the turn of the millennium, molecular phylogenetic analyses integrated the Aardvarks into the new super-cohort Afrotheria, next to Elephants, Hyraxes, Sea-cows, Sengis, Tenrecs, and Golden Moles.”

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New Moon at BIOPARC Valencia

1_CRÍA DE JIRAFA - 5 semanas de vida - BIOPARC Valencia

BIOPARC Valencia’s ‘baby New Year’, a female Rothschild Giraffe, has been given a name. Fans of the Spanish zoo voted via social media, and the winning name is…Lluna (moon in Valencian)!

ZooBorns introduced readers to the endangered giraffe calf last month: “New Year, New Baby at Bioparc Valencia

The young giraffe continues to spend all of her time with experienced mother Zora, and Auntie Che. Father, Julius, is the only adult male specimen living at BIOPARC Valencia and is the progenitor of the rest of the calves born in the park.

Lluna and her family can now be seen enjoying their outdoor enclosure. She is also slowly being introduced to other species that inhabit the Zoo’s savannah exhibit.

2_CRÍA DE JIRAFA - 5 semanas de vida - BIOPARC Valencia - adulta y cría

3_Detalle de la CRÍA DE JIRAFA - 5 semanas de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (3)

4_CRÍA DE JIRAFA - 5 semanas de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

The Rothschild Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), also known as the Baringo Giraffe, is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. It is named after the Tring Museum’s founder, Walter Rothschild.

All individuals living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. The Rothschild Giraffe is at risk of hybridization and is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Its geographic distribution includes central Kenya, northern Uganda and southern Sudan. According to latest figures, there are fewer than 1,500 individuals in the wild. BIOPARC Valencia participates in the EEP (captive breeding program for endangered species), and this new breeding is involved in this important initiative to preserve biodiversity.

The Rothschild Giraffe is distinguishable from other subspecies because of its coloring. Where as the Reticulated Giraffe has very defined dark patches with bright channels between, the Rothschild has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild has no markings on the lower leg.

This subspecies mate any time of year and have a gestation period of 14 to 16 months, typically giving birth to a single calf. They prefer to live in small herds, with adult males and females only mixing for mating. Males are larger than females and tend to be darker in color.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: “Current estimates of population size [of the Rothschild Giraffe] are well below 2,500 mature individuals, numbers are declining overall and no subpopulation is estimated to contain more than 250 mature individuals. The population is potentially close to meeting the population threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion C, depending on the number of individuals, if any, that survive in south Sudan.”


New Year, New Baby at Bioparc Valencia

1_JIRAFAS - Adulta y cría - BIOPARC Valencia

The New Year started off big (and tall) for BIOPARC Valencia, in Spain, with the birth of a female Rothschild Giraffe.

Zora, an experienced mother, and has taken quite naturally to her new baby. The father, Julius, is the only adult male specimen living at BIOPARC Valencia and is the progenitor of the rest of the calves born in the park.

The small new Giraffe has been spending time being pampered by mom. Aunt Che, accompanies them at all times by providing company and helping them enjoy the tranquility of their interior quarters, which also have a patio to enjoy the sun and pleasant temperatures.

2_Cría de jirafa recién nacida - BIOPARC Valencia

3_Cría de jirafa recién nacida - BIOPARC Valencia - Junto a la jirafa CHEPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

The Rothschild Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), also known as the Baringo Giraffe, is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. It is named after the Tring Museum’s founder, Walter Rothschild.

All individuals living in the wild are in protected areas in Kenya and Uganda. The Rothschild Giraffe is at risk of hybridization and is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Its geographic distribution includes central Kenya, northern Uganda and southern Sudan. According to latest figures, there are fewer than 1,500 individuals in the wild. BIOPARC Valencia participates in the EEP (captive breeding program for endangered species), and this new breeding is involved in this important initiative to preserve biodiversity.

The Rothschild Giraffe is distinguishable from other subspecies because of its coloring. Where as the Reticulated Giraffe has very defined dark patches with bright channels between, the Rothschild has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild has no markings on the lower leg.

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Bioparc Valencia Welcomes First Zebra of the Season

1_Cría de cebra con 1 día de vida - SABANA AFRICANA DE BIOPARC VALENCIA - mayo 2015

Bioparc Valencia, in Spain, recently welcomed their first Zebra foal of the season. Last spring, the Park received a baby boom in their Zebra herd, and, if all goes well, the prospects a very good for a repeat this year. 

2_Cebras - madre y cría con 1 día de vida - Sabana africana de Bioparc Valencia

3_Cría de cebra recién nacida - BIOPARC VALENCIA - 2015

4_Nueva cría de cebra en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - 2015Photo Credits: Bioparc Valencia

The Zebra herd, at Bioparc Valencia, is currently composed of one male and four females. They draw quite a bit of attention from visitors (especially children) to the Park’s African Savannah exhibit. Keepers have predicted that several of the mares are currently pregnant.

The Zebra’s popularity has also been utilized in Bioparc Valencia’s newest promotional campaign. A colorful Zebra design is the chosen symbol for the Parks current special admission prices, through the end of June:  http://www.bioparcvalencia.es/en/informacion-al-visitante/promocion-animalada/

Like most members of the horse family, Zebras, in general, are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators.

Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. 

5_Nueva cría de cebra en la Sabana - 1 día de vida - BIOPARC VALENCIA


Take a Peek into an Aardvark Den

1 aardvark

A warm welcome to this little Aardvark born at Bioparc Valencia in Spain! The cub was born on January 25. 

After a gestation period of about seven months, Aardvarks give birth to a single cub, born hairless with floppy ears and wrinkled skin. Their ears perk up at about three weeks old. This little guy is starting to grow hair, and will be weaned by three months old.

2 aardvark

3 aardvark

4 aardvarkPhoto credits: Bioparc Valencia

Aardvarks live in sub-Saharan Africa in a range of ecosystems, from savannas to woodlands and bushlands. They eat ants and termites. They are also important seed dispersers for the Aardvark cucumber, the only kind of fruit that they eat. 

They are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a species of Least Concern. However, some populations may be in decline. It is difficult to keep track of their population numbers because Aardvarks are elusive and active at night. 

See more photos after the fold!

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Meerkat Pups Join the Family at Bioparc Valencia

1 meerkat

Bioparc Valencia in Spain is now home to five little Meerkat pups. Meerkats, endemic to the desert of southern Africa, are members of the mongoose family. They live in social colonies in underground burrows and tunnels that help to protect them against the day's scorching heat. Some members of the colony act as scouts that cry out to warn each other if a predator, like a hawk, is spotted. Meerkats will also babysit for each other as they are raising pups, protecting and sometimes even nursing each other's young. 

Meerkats can reproduce year-round, and may have up to four litters per year in the wild. Pups leave the den to explore at about three weeks old, and start to learn how to forage for and eat small animals and plants by watching and mimicking adults. It takes careful observation and practice to master the art of catching (and eating) scorpions!

2 meerkat

3 meerkatPhoto credits: Bioparc Valencia

See a video of the Meerkat family:


Baringo Giraffe Calf Has Family Time at Bioparc Valencia

Ramses hero

Two-month-old giraffe Ramses is out and about with the rest of the herd at Bioparc Valenica, Spain. 

Born on November 30th, Ramses is the offspring of Zora and Julius. Zora's first calves were hand-reared by caretakers after the mother rejected her brood. But there's good news: Zora has bonded with her calf this time, and she nurses and devotes caring attention to Ramses. 

Now on display, Ramses shares his exhibit home with other species of the African savanna, including Thomson's Gazelles, Blesbok, Impalas, Crowned Cranes, and Jabirus. 

Ramses 1

Ramses 2

Ramses 4
Photo Credits: Bioparc Valencia

See and learn more after the fold.

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Baby Aardvark at Bioparc Valencia First Ever Born in Spain

AA CU

With ears like a bunny, a body a bit like a pig and a tail like a kangaroo, the Aardvark is quite an unusual animal. This pink baby Aardvark was born on January 14 at Bioparc Valencia, perhaps with a face that only a mother could love. This is a very special event, since it is the first Aardvark ever born in Spain. It weighed 3.4 pounds (1.580 kg) at birth and now, at two weeks old, has already reached 5.8 pounds (2.650 kg). The sex is still unknown.

Since this is an important baby, keepers have kept a careful watch via video installed in the nesting area. They are letting Mom do her job, and she's doing it well. But when she leaves to eat, zoo staff has their opportunity to check the baby, performing a total check on its progress: weight, nutrition, cleaning, and even moisturizing it's skin if needed. This monitoring is performed every three hours, while keeping an eye on temperature and humidity in the habitat. They also watch to see that the baby is nursing roughly every 2 hours. The baby is healthy and growing stronger every day.

AA with mom

AA nurse

AA nap

Photo Credit: Bioparc Valencia

The baby's parents are Dad, Charly, 4 years old, and Mom, Danny, who is 8 years old. Typically the gestation period is about 243 days and there is usually only one offspring, which feeds during the day while the mother sleeps. Since Aardvarks are nocturnal, in the wild a youngster stays alone at night in the deep caves dug by the mother, where it stays warm and safe from predators while she leaves to forage for food. Young remain with their mothers for about 6 months before moving out to dig their own burrows with their powerful feet and claws. This mammal is an omnivore and so will use those same claws to dig for food - mostly termites - which they then extract with their long tongues.

Here is the most recent video of the baby with mom: 

 Read more Aardvark facts, and watch an early video of the baby nursing, after the fold:

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Bright-Eyed Ring-Tailed Lemur Babies

2 on back CU

Two fuzzy, bright-eyed ring-tailed lemurs were born on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Bioparc Valencia in Spain. Within a few hours, early morning visitors to their habitat could see them clinging to their mother's belly. This is the third set of babies for their ten year old mom, who has been at Bioparc Valencia since 2007. Ring-tail lemur babies usually spend their first two weeks of life grasping their mother's abdomen before they switch to riding on her back. 

Belly 2

2 & 2

Floor
Photo credits: Bioparc Valencia

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Surprise Hoglets Pop into Spain

Bioparc Valencia - crías de potamoquero

Two Red River Hogs were born unexpectedly in early May at Bioparc Valencia in Spain. These colorful wild boars live in the African equatorial forest, typically near water. In recent years the population of this species has grown dramatically in accredited zoos, but the genetic pool is shrinking. International controls to prevent the spread of swine flu have made the transport of these hogs between foreign zoos for responsible breeding purposes more challenging. After a lot of red tape, the father of these tiny hoglets was finally sent to a German zoo where he could contribute genetic diversity, but not before clandestinely fathering these two little piggies.

Bioparc Valencia - crías potamoquero

Bioparc Valencia - Biberón potamoquero - detalle

Don't miss this video!

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