Bioparc Valencia

First Zebra of the Season for Bioparc Valencia

1_Primavera 2016 en BIOPARC - La cebra Bom junto a su cría - 7 junio (3)

BIOPARC Valencia recently welcomed their first newborn Grant’s Zebra of this year! On June 7, the Spanish park started the day with the birth of the beautiful filly.

With the arrival of good weather more frequent births of different species occur, and, if all goes well, more births of Zebras are expected at the park. The herd of Zebras, inhabiting the African Savannah exhibit at BIOPARC Valencia, is now composed of one male and four females.

The mother, Bom, arrived at BIOPARC Valencia in June 2007 from Zoo Copenhagen in Denmark. In less than a month, Bom will be 10 years old. The father, Zambé, is the only male of the herd, and he moved to the park, in February 2012 from the Safari de Peaugres in France, for breeding purposes.

The filly is very healthy and constantly follows her attentive and inseparable mother. Both enjoy the sunny spring days with the rest of the Zebra herd and under the curious eyes of the other savannah animals who share their exhibit.

2_Primavera 2016 en BIOPARC - La cebra Bom junto a su cría - 7 junio (4)

3_Primavera 2016 en BIOPARC - potra de cebra con unas horas de vida

4_Primavera 2016 en BIOPARC - las cebras Bom y Zambé junto a su cría - 7 junioPhoto Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

 

Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi) is the smallest of six subspecies of the Plains Zebra. This subspecies represents the Zebra form of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

The distribution of this subspecies is in Zambia, west of the Luangwa river and west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north to the Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania, north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi into southwestern Kenya as far as Sotik. It can also be found in eastern Kenya and east of the Great Rift Valley into southernmost Ethiopia. It also occurs as far as the Juba River in Somalia.

This northern subspecies is vertically striped in front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and hind flanks. Northerly specimens may lack a mane. Grant’s Zebras grow to be about 120 to 140 centimeters (3.9 to 4.6 ft) tall, and generally weigh about 300 kilograms (660 lb). Zebras live in family groups of up to 17 or 18 individuals. They live an average of 20 years.

Needing water daily, they remain no more than half a day's walk from water sources. Their diet includes grass, tough stems, and sometimes leaves or barks of trees and shrubs. They require a lot of food so it is not uncommon for them to spend around 20 hours a day grazing.

Their gestation period is 360-370 days, and they usually have one offspring per birth. The birthing peak is during the rainy season. Mothers nurse their foal for up to a year. Young male Zebras eventually leave their family groups. This is not because of sexual maturity or being kicked out by their fathers, but because their relationship with their mothers has faded after the birth of a sibling. The young stallion then seeks out other young stallions for company. Young females may stay in the harem until they are “abducted” by another stallion.

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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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