Bioparc Valencia

Bioparc Valencia Welcomes First Zebra of the Season

Cebras - madre y potro nacido 10 julio - verano 2018 - BIOPARC Valencia

BIOPARC Valencia recently welcomed their first Zebra foal of the year!

The new mother, Bom, arrived at BIOPARC Valencia in 2007 from the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark, and the father, Zambé, was transferred from Safari de Peaugres in France in 2012.

Keepers report that the new family is doing very well, and the foal constantly follows his mother, who protects and feeds on demand, enjoying the warm summer days with the rest of the herd. Predictably, the Zoo says other females in their herd of Grant’s Zebra are currently pregnant and could give birth soon.

Cebras en la Sabana - madre y potro nacido 10 julio - verano 2018 - BIOPARC Valencia

Cebra nacida 10 julio - verano 2018 - BIOPARC ValenciaPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

This new Zebra birth adds to those that in previous years have occurred in BIOPARC, which makes it a genetic reserve of this emblematic African species.

The geographical distribution of the Grant's Zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi) is in Zambia, west of the Luangwa River, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, northern Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. They are the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra.

Their diet includes grass, hard stems and, sometimes, leaves or bark of trees and shrubs. They require a large amount of food so it is not uncommon for them to spend around 20 hours a day grazing.

The gestation period is 360-370 days and usually one calf is born. Life expectancy is around 38-40 years.


Naked Mole Rats Born at Bioparc Valencia

BIOPARC Valencia - Nace una camada de ratas topo - verano 2018

A litter of Naked Mole Rats was born last week at Bioparc Valencia, highlighting this unusual and unique species.

Native to the dry grasslands of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, Naked Mole Rats excavate extensive underground burrows. They are well adapted to their underground life, with tiny eyes and large teeth for digging. As the name suggests, Naked Mole Rats have very little hair and lack a fat layer under the skin.

BIOPARC Valencia - Ratas topo y crías recién nacidas - verano 2018
BIOPARC Valencia - Ratas topo y crías recién nacidas - verano 2018Photo Credit: Bioparc Valencia



Naked Mole Rats are unusual among mammals in that they exhibit eusociality, a social structure similar to that of ants, termites and bees. The life of the colony is governed by chemical mechanisms, where there is only one breeding female (the queen), and one to three breeding males (the drones). The rest of the individuals in the colony are workers, which are sterile and are charged with maintaining the nest and gathering food.

Scientists are greatly interested in Naked Mole Rats because they are believed to be resistant to cancer, likely due to their genetic makeup. They are insensitive to pain because they lack a specific neurotransmitter. Naked Mole Rats are able to thrive in a low-oxygen environment (only about 2-9%, compared to 21% above ground). In addition, their relatively long lifespan of 32 years – unlike many rodents that live just a few years – is of great interest to scientists who study the aging process.

One of the objectives of BIOPARC Valencia is to make known the rich biodiversity of the planet and the need to conserve it, where all species are essential.


Baby Gorilla Born as Zoo Visitors Watch

14 de marzo 2018 - La gorila Fossey y su bebé recién nacido - BIOPARC Valencia (2)-min

Visitors to Spain’s Bioparc Valencia witnessed a special moment when Fossey, a Western Lowland Gorilla, gave birth in the exhibit habitat at about 4:00 pm on March 8.

The infant, whose gender is not yet known, is the fourth baby of this Critically Endangered species to be born at Bioparc Valencia in the last five years.

8-marzo-nace-el-cuarto-gorila-valenciano-en-BIOPARC
8-marzo-nace-el-cuarto-gorila-valenciano-en-BIOPARCPhoto Credit: Bioparc Valencia

This is the first baby for 18-year-old Fossey, who is named for American primatologist Dian Fossey.  Silverback Mambie is the father of all four babies born at Bioparc Valencia.

The Gorilla family at Bioparc Valencia is large and stable, which contributes to a tranquil setting for newborns. The group consists of three adult females, one silverback, and youngsters Ebo, 5, Virunga, 19 months, and Mbeli, 5 months.

To prepare for the birth, the Gorilla team gave the entire group access to indoor and outdoor quarters all day and all night. This allowed the new mom to find a comfortable space to deliver her baby. Gorillas are naturally social, and the other members of the troop immediately came to meet the new baby. The young Gorillas in particular showed a great deal of interest in their new half-sibling.

The new baby will play a vital role in the European Gorilla Conservation Program, a cooperative effort of European zoos to maintain a genetically healthy and sustainable Gorilla population.

Western Lowland Gorillas are native to the mountain forests of central Africa. The total population is around 150,000 – 250,000 individuals, but declines at a rate of 2.5% per year. The number one threat to this species is poaching – the illegal hunting and killing of Gorillas for body parts. Gorillas are hunted even in protected areas. Diseases, including Ebola virus, are another serious threat.   

See more photos of the baby Gorilla below.

Continue reading "Baby Gorilla Born as Zoo Visitors Watch" »


Gazelle Extinct in the Wild Is Born in Valencia

BIOPARC Valencia - Gacela Mhorr recién nacida - 9 de noviembre 2017 (2)
A Mhorr Gazelle, which is extinct in the wild, was born while amazed visitors watched at Spain’s Bioparc Valencia on November 9.

The newborn immediately tried to stand while its attentive mother hovered close by. It was eventually successful and nursed from mom shortly after.

BIOPARC Valencia - Gacela Mhorr recién nacida - 9 de noviembre 2017 (2)
BIOPARC Valencia - Gacela Mhorr recién nacida - 9 de noviembre 2017 (2)
BIOPARC Valencia - Gacela Mhorr recién nacida - 9 de noviembre 2017 (2)Photo Credit: Bioparc Valencia

Mhorr Gazelles, once found in western regions of Africa’s Sahel and the Sahara Desert, became extinct in the wild in 1968. Since then, European, African, and Middle Eastern zoos have developed breeding programs for Mhorr Gazelles. Some individuals have been reintroduced to their former native range as part of an effort to reestablish the wild population.

Mhorr Gazelles (Nanger dama mhorr) are one of three subspecies of Dama Gazelles. The other two are Addra Gazelles (N. d. ruficollis) which live in the eastern Sahel and Sahara, and the nominate subspecies, Dama Gazelles (N. d. dama), which lives in the central region between the other two subspecies.

Scientists continue to debate whether each are separate subspecies based on genetic sampling.

These Gazelles are well-adapted to arid habitats, requiring little water and feeding on grasses, acacia leaves, and fruits.

With all three subspecies, small, fragmented populations in the wild are a concern for the future of these Gazelles. There are only five remnant populations remaining in the wild, and some number fewer than 100 individuals. All Dama Gazelles are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Zoos and other breeding programs are the only hope for the survival of these elegant and graceful Gazelles.

 

 

 


Bioparc Valencia Keepers Confirm Their Suspicions

1_La bebé gorila cumple 1 mes de vida - BIOPARC Valencia - agosto 2017 (2)

During a recent well-check exam, BIOPARC Valencia keepers confirmed their suspicions; their new Western Lowland Gorilla baby is indeed a female!

The infant was born July 21 and is the Zoo’s third Western Lowland Gorilla birth.

The new baby is an important member of the zoo’s Gorilla troop. Experienced mom, Nalani, and father, Mambie, are doing an excellent job caring for their new offspring. Aside from the proud parents and their new baby, the troop at BIOPARC Valencia includes: Mambie’s firstborn, Ebo (4-years-old), female Fossey, and 12-month-old Virunga.

2_La bebé gorila cumple 1 mes de vida - BIOPARC Valencia - agosto 2017 (3)

3_La gorila Ali y su bebé de un mes - agosto 2017 - BIOPARC Valencia

4_21 agosto 2017 - El bebé gorila nacido este verano cumple 1 mes de vida - BIOPARC Valencia (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two subspecies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary and secondary forests and lowland swamps in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the Gorilla most common to zoos.

The main diet of the Gorilla species is roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, tree bark and pulp, which are provided for in the thick forests of central and West Africa. An adult will eat around 18 kg (40 lb) of food per day. Gorillas will climb trees up to 15 meters in height in search of food.

Females do not produce many offspring, due to the fact that they do not reach sexual maturity until the age of 8 or 9. Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Unlike their powerful parents, newborns are tiny (weighing about four pounds) and able only to cling to their mothers' fur. The infant will ride on mother’s back from the age of four months through the first two or three years of life. Infants can be dependent on the mother for up to five years.

The Western Lowland Gorilla is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Population in the wild is faced with a number of factors that threaten it to extinction. Such factors include: deforestation, farming, grazing, and the expanding human settlements that cause forest loss. There is also said to be a correlation between human intervention in the wild and the destruction of habitats with an increase in bush meat hunting.


Third Gorilla Birth for BIOPARC Valencia

1_Bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - julio 2017

On the evening of July 21, BIOPARC Valencia welcomed their third Western Lowland Gorilla birth!

The Spanish zoo is calling the infant by the name Ali and, although keepers haven’t confirmed, they suspect it is a female.

The new baby is an important member of the zoo’s Gorilla troop. Experienced mom, Nalani, and father, Mambie, are doing an excellent job caring for their new offspring. Aside from the proud parents and their new baby, the troop at BIOPARC Valencia includes: Mambie’s firstborn, Ebo (4-years-old), female Fossey, and 11-month-old Virunga.

2_Julio 2017 - bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia (2)

3_Julio 2017 - bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia (3)

4_Bosque ecuatorial - Bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - julio 2017Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two subspecies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary and secondary forests and lowland swamps in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the Gorilla most common to zoos.

The main diet of the Gorilla species is roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, tree bark and pulp, which are provided for in the thick forests of central and West Africa. An adult will eat around 18 kg (40 lb) of food per day. Gorillas will climb trees up to 15 meters in height in search of food.

Females do not produce many offspring, due to the fact that they do not reach sexual maturity until the age of 8 or 9. Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Unlike their powerful parents, newborns are tiny (weighing about four pounds) and able only to cling to their mothers' fur. The infant will ride on mother’s back from the age of four months through the first two or three years of life. Infants can be dependent on the mother for up to five years.

The Western Lowland Gorilla is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Population in the wild is faced with a number of factors that threaten it to extinction. Such factors include: deforestation, farming, grazing, and the expanding human settlements that cause forest loss. There is also said to be a correlation between human intervention in the wild and the destruction of habitats with an increase in bush meat hunting.


Endangered Dama Gazelles Arrive with the Spring

1_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017

The entrance of spring has brought the births of many animals at BIOPARC Valencia, and among them is the Dama Gazelle.

In 2014, three females and a young male arrived at BIOPARC Valencia with the aim of creating a breeding group. The park recently welcomed the birth of two calves and expects the arrival of a third calf any day now. This was the "premiere" of the park’s male as a father, and the new calves offer hope for the survival of this beautiful species.

2_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017 (3)

3_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017 (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama), also known as the Addra Gazelle or Mhorr Gazelle, is a species native to Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel.

This Gazelle has been classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. It has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Their diets includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.


Aardvark Arrives for Bioparc Valencia’s Anniversary

1_Oricteropos - madre y cría - en BIOPARC Valencia - febrero 2017 bj

On January 28, an Aardvark was born at BIOPARC Valencia in Spain. The birth increased the number of this particular family at the park to a total of five, which includes the parents and two other females (also born in the park).

The new mom is taking excellent care of the new cub, and staff reports that supplemental care and feeding are not required for the new Aardvark. However, keepers constantly monitor the cub’s weight and work to assure that the appropriate temperature and humidity are provided in the new families den. Every night a thorough review of the animal takes place and the cub is cleaned, weighed and its skin is moisturized.

If the cub continues the current healthy pattern of growth and development, he may be placed on-exhibit in time for the park’s 9th anniversary. (In February, BIOPARC Valencia celebrates 9 years of love for nature and will show their appreciation to the public by offering discounted admission rates.)

2_Oricteropos - madre y cría - en BIOPARC Valencia - febrero 2017 (2) bj

3_Bebé oricteropo - cerdo hormiguero - recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia (2) bj

4_Bebé oricteropo - cerdo hormiguero - recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia bjPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

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Calf Strengthens Gene Pool of Endangered Giraffe

1_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (4)

BIOPARC Valencia recently announced the birth of a lovely female Rothschild’s Giraffe.

The healthy calf has been spending time bonding with mom, Bulería. Father Julius and the rest of the herd have also been introduced to the almost-one-month-old Giraffe.

2_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (5) (1)

3_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016

4_Cobijo interior de BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de jirafa Baringo recién nacida - noviembre 2016 (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Rothschild’s 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’s 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’s 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’s has paler, orange-brown patches that are less defined. Also, the Rothschild’s 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’s 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.”


BIOPARC’s New Gorilla Given Special Name

1_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA nacida en BIOPARC Valencia cumple 3 meses

The Western Lowland Gorilla, born August 18 at BIOPARC Valencia, was recently given a name. The zoo excitedly revealed that the little female’s name would be one that honored and gave recognition to a special place…Virunga.

Formerly known as Albert National Park, Virunga National Park is located in the eastern boundary of the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Uganda and Rwanda, from the mountains of the same name to the Ruwenzori Mountains. This beautiful wilderness first became a National Park in 1925 and is the most biologically diverse protected area in Africa. With an area of 7,800 square kilometers (equivalent to the province of Barcelona, Spain), treasured habitats as diverse as rainforests, savannah, lava plains, swamps, glaciers and active volcanoes make up the park.

This park is home to the Mountain Gorillas, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in 1979 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. The park is also included on the list of World Heritage sites that are in danger.

2_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA nacida en BIOPARC Valencia cumple 3 meses (2)

3_NOVIEMBRE 2016 La gorila Nalani y su bebé llamada VIRUNGA - cumple 3 meses en BIOPARC Valencia

4_La bebé gorila VIRUNGA junto a su padre MAMBIE en BIOPARC Valencia - noviembre 2016Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

Virunga National Park is also popularly known for the movie "Gorillas in the Mist", which focused on the scientific and conservation work with Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), in the Virunga Mountains, done by American zoologist Dian Fossey.

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