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New year, new baby seahorses!

Sydney, Wednesday 13 January 2021: Babies are here, there and everywhere inside SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s nursery where over 100 endangered White’s Seahorses were born just in time for the new year!

A herd of babies each smaller than a grain of rice emerged from their dads’ pouches in the final months of 2020, with a few dozen arriving just two days before the new year rolled around. Their arrival marks a successful start to the second year of the White’s Seahorse Conservation Breeding Program initiated by SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Fisheries NSW and the University of Technology Sydney.

Pregnant White's Seahorse juvenile
Pregnant White's Seahorse juvenile
Pregnant White's Seahorse juvenile
Pregnant White's Seahorse juvenile
Pregnant White's Seahorse juvenile

Aquarium staff say the babies are growing nice and strong while their parents are keeping busy and expected to deliver more babies over the next few months. 

“We have over 100 White’s Seahorse babies and are expecting more!” said Mitchell Brennan, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium Aquarist and Seahorse Expert. “We took learnings from our first year of breeding and made changes to the facility, food source and their husbandry routine to develop a more streamlined and efficient program. We believe this may have contributed to such a positive start to the season.”

Continue reading "New year, new baby seahorses!" »


Kiwi chick hatches for first time at Franklin Park Zoo

On December 28, a tiny new feathered face greeted the staff at Franklin Park Zoo. The hatch of the male kiwi chick was a first for this species at the Zoo.

Since his hatch, the young chick has been strong and thriving. Staff has observed him preening his long brown feathers, and probing his beak into the ground in search of insects, both natural behaviors for kiwis. He is already eating an adult diet consisting of a mixture of vegetables, including corn, carrots and string beans, and meat.

Kiwi Day 4 - 5
Kiwi Day 4 - 5
Kiwi Day 4 - 5

“We are very pleased with the growth of the chick so far. With all newly hatched birds, you want to make sure that the legs are not splayed, or in an abnormal position. He has nice strong legs in a good stance and has become more active with each day,” said Dr. Brianne Phillips, Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian. “As with any new chick, we are continuing to monitor him closely, but so far he is doing well.”

Continue reading "Kiwi chick hatches for first time at Franklin Park Zoo" »


Baby Elephant Kiran Turns 1 at Zoo Leipzig

One year ago today Zoo Leipzig’s little elephant bull was born. Mother Rani's son was given the name of Kiran. His weight development in particular caused a lot of concern for a long time. Now Kiran weighs 333 kg and is an integral part of the flock. Leipzig put together scenes from his first year - and Kiran enjoying his birthday box together with his birthday guests.

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Happy Birthday!

Would you like to send Kiran a birthday present? You can donate symbolic treats at www.zoo-leipzig.de/spendenaktion


Endangered Baby Zebra at Toronto Zoo Has a Name

The Toronto Zoo announced last month that Tori, a ten-year-old female endangered Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi), gave birth to a healthy foal in the early morning hours on Tuesday December 1, 2020 weighing 52.1 kilograms… and it’s a boy! This is the fourth foal for mom Tori and the fifth for dad Jake, a thirteen-year-old male. This foal, born as part of the Grevy's Zebra Species Survival Plan (SSP), will help to increase Jake’s underrepresented genetics within the population. Both mom and foal are doing well.

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“We are so pleased to welcome this healthy and energetic foal to your Toronto Zoo and be contributing to the population of this endangered species,” says Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo. “With only 3000 individuals remaining in the wild, this is a great example of the critical work done by our world class wildlife care team at the Toronto Zoo to protect this species,” he added.

The Grevy’s zebra has been listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for decades. Habitat loss, competition with livestock, and poaching are their primary threats. The Toronto Zoo is part of the AZA Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan (SSP), building our understanding of these incredible animals and supporting field conservation efforts for the species.

Now Toronto Zoo has announced the Grevy’s zebra foal, affectionately known as #BBZeeBee, has a name! With over 8,500 people voting in the “Help Us Name #BBZeeBee" promotion, one name has emerged as the favorite… introducing, Poe! Poe was chosen through online voting from a list of four preselected names, in keeping with the tradition of naming their Grevy’s zebra offspring after Star Wars inspired names, previous zebra babies were named Luke, Leia, Rey and Obi. The naming promotion was launched on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 and ran through Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm.


Taronga Zoo Sydney is Celebrating the Birth of an Adorable Female Long nosed Fur Seal Pup

Taronga Zoo Sydney is celebrating the birth of an adorable female Long-nosed Fur Seal pup, who made her entrance into the world on 21 December 2020.

The pup, who is now three weeks old, was born to first-time mum Keke and is the first long-nosed fur seal pup to be born at Taronga Zoo in more than two decades.

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Keepers report mum and pup are doing extremely well and are getting to know one another in the quiet surrounds of the a purpose-built seal nursery.

Seal pups are not born knowing how to swim, so Keke will spend the next little while giving some swimming lessons before the pair are ready to venture from the nursery.

The little pup was just 3.58kg when she was first born, but has been suckling well and now weighs in at just over 4kg.

Keke is a rescue seal and was bought to the Taronga Wildlife Hospital in 2012 after she was found in Sydney Harbour with injuries from a boat strike. After prolonged treatment she was deemed not to be a suitable candidate for release.

An inquisitive and curious seal, Keke has spent the last few years engaging guests at the Seals for the Wild, powered by Red Energy.

While this little pup is not yet on display, visitors to Taronga can still see Amalie, an adorable five-month-old Australia Sea-lion, who is full of fun antics.

Taronga Zoo is open every day of the school holidays with more than 4,000 animals too meet from around the Whole WILD World.

Book your tickets at taronga.org.au


A Year in the Life of Willi The Baby Southern White Rhino

Willi the Rhino turned one year old on Friday, January 8. The southern white rhinoceros was born at Zoo Dortmund zoo on January 8, 2020 at 10:55 p.m. Let’s look back on a year in which Willi inspired Dortmund and its visitors with his curious, open-minded and blustery style. The Zoo has put together is video of best moments of his first year in the world.

The video shows, among other things, Willi's birth, his first playful fight with his mother Shakina, first trips to the outdoor area, which he apparently processed shortly afterwards in a dream, the first attempt to eat hay even though he had no teeth, the first direct encounter with rhinoceros grandma Natala, with rhinoceros cow Jasira and finally his father Amari. The young rhinoceros romped around a lot with Amari, usually until she stopped romping. But Willi was also always very open to his keepers, as the scene with the massage shows.

All the best, dear Willi!

Text and editing: Marcel Stawinoga / @zoolotse


Two Penguin Chicks Hatch in Indianapolis, One to a Same-sex Pair

The Indianapolis Zoo is excited to welcome the arrival of two adorable Gentoo penguin chicks, hatched just days before Christmas. They’re also celebrating the beautiful differences of their families, because one of the newcomers was born to a same-sex pair — a first for the Zoo! 

Same-sex pairings have also occurred with penguin species in the wild and in other zoos. The two male birds became first-time dads when their chick hatched on Dec. 15. A female that’s actually paired with another penguin laid the egg and left it with the all-male couple, who have been caring for it ever since. Gentoo penguins co-parent their young, and just as a female-male pair would do, the two fathers have taken turns tending the nest, incubating the egg and now feeding the chick.  

Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in
Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in
Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in
Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in
Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in
Gentoo Chick 2 weigh-in

The other chick hatched a week earlier on Dec. 8, to a female-male pair who are also first-time parents. All the adults are doing a great job as caregivers, and while they don’t know the sexes of the two chicks, the young birds are both growing quickly. The first-born chick weighed 99.7 grams at birth and has grown to 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) at its weigh-in today. The second chick has already grown to 1,405 grams (3 pounds, 1 ounce) from its birth weight of 114 grams.   

These are the first two penguin chicks hatched at the Indianapolis Zoo since 2012, and the first for the Gentoo flock since 2011.   


Baby Boom Continues at The Wilds!

Cumberland, OH – There’s a baby boom of sorts happening at The Wilds and the team is buzzing with excitement as they celebrate the birth of a third white rhinoceros. The male calf was born on December 24, 2020 in the rhinos’ large, heated barn. This calf is the 25th white rhino to be born at The Wilds. 

Southern White Rhino Calf 03 2412 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf 03 2412 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf 03 2412 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Southern White Rhino Calf 03 2412 - Grahm S. Jones  Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Photo credit: Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The male calf and his mother, 16-year-old Zenzele, also born at The Wilds, are doing well. The calf appears to be strong and is nursing alongside his mother.

Zenzele, a seasoned mother, is doing well and watching after her little one. This is Zenzele’s fifth calf and the seventh calf that father, Roscoe, has sired. Roscoe was born at the Knoxville Zoo. He moved to the Seneca Park Zoo when he was 2 years old and has been living at The Wilds since 2014.

It was a busy December at The Wilds! On December 9, a female white rhino calf was born to mother, Kifaru, and on December 18, a male white rhino calf was born to mother, Kali. All three calves were sired by Roscoe. The Animal Management team says that the two older calves have been physically introduced to one another, taking part in fun and energetic playdates. They have also met the most recent arrival through the fences and will have a chance to play with him, too. The names of the three calves will be announced soon!

The Wilds is the only facility outside of Africa that has rhinos born four and five generations removed from their wild-born ancestors. That success continues with this latest birth. Zenzele was the very first rhino to be born at The Wilds and she has lived at The Wilds her entire life. Two of her daughters and two of her granddaughters are still in our herd at The Wilds. This latest newborn is the 11th fourth generation calf.

The pairings of Zenzele and Roscoe was recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). This program is designed to maintain a sustainable population and genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care. The Wilds has also welcomed the births of eight Asian one-horned rhinos since 2005. The most recent Asian one-horned rhino calf, a female named Rohini, was welcomed into The Wilds’ family on August 24, 2019.

“Three baby white rhinoceros calves born in one month—we’re going to have our hands full!” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds. “These babies and the rest of our southern white rhino herd are wonderful ambassadors for their wild cousins, giving our guests the opportunity to connect with and appreciate these magnificent animals. We are proud to be leaders within the zoological community in helping to sustain populations of white rhinoceros through the addition of this latest calf.”

“The multigenerational herd is a true testament to our Animal Management team’s expertise and the great care they provide to the animals. White rhinos continue to face many challenges in their native range, and the arrival of each calf is a cause for celebration. Each birth is vital in protecting the future of the species,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf.

The white rhino population had dwindled to an estimated 50 to 200 individuals at the beginning of the 20th century. Still, through conservation efforts, the population of white rhinos in their native range in Africa has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining rhino species in Africa and Asia (white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros and Sumatran rhinoceros) are killed by poachers who sell rhino horn for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin—the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that one rhino is killed every 10 hours for its horn.

White rhino calves are born after a gestation of 16 months and they can grow to be 4,000 pounds and six feet tall at their shoulder. Their habitats typically consist of plains or woodlands, interspersed with grassy openings. Through reintroduction efforts, their native range has been established in southern and eastern African countries.

Their physical characteristics are two pointed horns and a wide mouth suitable for grazing. The name white rhinoceros originated from the Afrikaans word describing the animal’s mouth – wyd, meaning “wide.” Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the word wyd for “white.”

To further protect the future of rhinos, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo has provided more than $218,000 in the last five years in support of conservation projects benefiting rhinos in their native ranges, such as monitoring black and white rhinos in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region through the International Rhino Foundation, protecting black rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya through the African Wildlife Foundation and habitat restoration focused on the shortgrass that white rhinos eat through the White Rhinos: Rhinoceros Fund Uganda.

Guests may have the opportunity to view the calves and their mothers, along with the other rhinos in the rhino barn during a Winter at The Wilds Tour. Tours are available at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. through April. Please note that reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance.

For more information, please visit TheWilds.org and follow The Wilds’ social media accounts on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


A Trio of Baby Emperor Tamarin Monkeys at Zoo Vienna

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, Schönbrunn Zoo once again has some good news. Zoo Vienna has moustached baby monkeys! “Our Emperor Tamarins Tamaya and Purple have had triplets. The hallmark of this marmoset species is its long, white mustache, which both males and females wear. Even with the three tiny ones, the beard is easy to see,” says zoo director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck. The last offspring among the Emperor Tamarins was five years ago. The new trio was born on December 1st. Not counting the tail, they are only an estimated five centimeters tall. The zookeepers have not yet been able to tell whether they are females or males.

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These are the first offspring for Tamaya and Purple. The triplets keep dad Purple on the go. With Emperor Tamarins, the rearing of the young is up to the males. Hering-Hagenbeck says: “Most of the time, the father carries the young animals on his back. If the little ones get hungry, their mother takes over to suckle them.” The mini-monkeys are getting bolder every day and are already making first attempts at climbing. Clawed fingers and toes give them the necessary support. Emperor Tamarins are native to the rainforests of South America. Schönbrunn’s monkey family is in need of animal sponsors. If you want to support the currently closed zoo, you can become a sponsor for 80 euros per month.

You can find information about animal sponsorships at Schönbrunn Zoo at www.zoovienna.at/patenschaften

Photos copyright: Daniel Zupanc