Abilene Zoo

Giraffe Calf Debuts And Zooms!

Abilene Zoo’s newest giraffe herd member has made her public debut. As of Monday July 11, baby can now be seen in the Giraffe Safari habitat. The Zoo will be increasing the herd members she interacts with little by little. For now you will see her with her Mom, Jamie, along with Punk and Kito.


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Baby Capybaras

The Abilene Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of five capybaras on Thursday July, 7, 2022 at 11 AM. The five babies were born to mother Daisy. This is Daisy's second time having a litter of her own. A capybara is pregnant for five to six months. The pups each weigh between three and four pounds. Once they reach adulthood, they will be the world's largest species of rodent, weighing up to 170 lbs. The newest members of the Abilene Zoo family were born on exhibit and can be seen during your next visit.


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Baby Giraffe Born on June 24, 2022

The Abilene Zoo is elated to announce the birth of a giraffe calf at 1:50 PM on Friday June 24, 2022, to 11 year old mother Jamie.

This marks Jamie’s third calf. The Animal Care team noticed labor had begun a little before 1:00 PM. She went into labor inside the Zoo’s Giraffe Safari habitat, but when given the opportunity, moved into the Giraffe Barn holding areas in the Zoo’s behind the scenes.


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Orphaned Owlet Reared By Surrogate Mom

A little over a week ago, Abilene Zoo began caring for an orphaned Great Horned owlet. The goal at that point was to help the chick develop with as little human contact as possible.

The Chick is now being raised by Abilene's resident great horned owl, Einstein. This will allow Abilene to stay hands off and may lead to the release of this chick back into the wild skies of Texas once it has fledged.

Learn more about Bird Rehabilitation here: https://bit.ly/3v1AVte

It's Twins For Anteater Mom Demo!

Abilene, TX- The Abilene Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of twin giant anteater pups; a first of its kind birth for the zoo! The twins were born to their two-and-a-half-year-old mother, Demo, the morning of March 28, 2022.
The giant anteater twins, one boy and one girl, are Demo’s first born. Because it is rare for a giant anteater to give birth to twins and be able to adequately nourish two pups, the Abilene Zoo Animal Care Specialists have kept close watch of mother and babies, weighing the pups daily. It was noted that the female pup was not gaining weight, and the decision was made to hand raise her. While the male pup continues to be with mother Demo, the zoo’s veterinary and animal care teams are working towards the goal of reuniting the entire family as soon as the female pup gains weight and achieves critical milestones.


There is not yet a date set for the pups to be out on display to the public. However, Demo is at liberty to move around her exhibit, and she has already given a few lucky Abilene Zoo guests the chance to see her baby boy riding on her back. The Abilene Zoo encourages all guests to visit the giant anteater viewing area to try and catch a glimpse!


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Steenbok Zoomies!

Abilene Zoo’s little steenbok female is growing and exploring her environment. Her team takes her on field trips to a habitat adjacent to her mother. Especially cool, is that her mother, Kira, has vocalized toward her. Abilene Zoo staff are hoping to reunite them in the coming weeks.

Video credit: Animal Care Specialist Amberlee

Hand-rearing A Steenbok Calf

Christmas has come early! Over the weekend the Abilene Zoo welcomed a baby steenbok into the world. This species of antelope inhabits most of southern Africa. The newborn female weighs just under two pounds. When full grown, a steenbok female can weigh up to twenty eight pounds. The Abilene Zoo’s Animal Care team is currently hand-raising this baby, who was born slightly under weight and did not begin nursing immediately. "We are going to ensure she is receiving the proper nutrition," said Dr. Stephanie Carle, Senior Veterinarian. “She is gaining weight and growing and we are pleased with her development.” The Abilene Zoo’s hope is to reunite her with her Mother shortly after the first of the year.  


Otter Trio Debuts in Time for Mother’s Day

1_5 days old

A lively trio of North American River Otter pups recently made their debut at Oakland Zoo. A male and two females were born February 9, and they were introduced to the public prior to Mother’s Day weekend. According to keepers, their mom, Rose, has been doing a great job taking care of her new litter.

Zookeepers have also given names to the active pups. The boy has been named Si’ahl (“see-all”), and his sisters have been named Imnaha (“em-na-ha”) and Talulah (“ta-lou-la”).

The arrival of the pups brings the total number of North American River Otters, at Oakland Zoo, to six: their mom, dad Wyatt, and grandma, Ginger (Ginger is mother to Rose).

The pups are still nursing, but have begun eating solid foods consisting of fish and some meat.

Dad, Wyatt, is Oakland Zoo’s only adult male and was relocated to Oakland three years ago from the Abilene Zoo, in Texas, where the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) gave him a breeding recommendation.

“We are pleased to have our sixth healthy litter of Otter pups since 2011. This is Rose’s second litter, and we are happy that she is once again being a great mother to her pups. You can see Rose and her three pups daily at the Oakland Zoo, in the Children’s Zoo,” said Adam Fink, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo.

2_5 days old medical exam

3_Two and a half months old_2

4_Two and a half months old_3Photo Credits: Oakland Zoo

Zookeepers have been tracking the baby Otters’ growth and health with bi-weekly checkups, referred to as "pupdates" to Zoo staff. Rose has only very recently been venturing into the exhibit with her pups. Swimming is not instinctual; therefore, pups do not go on exhibit until they are strong enough swimmers and a certain size.

Zoo guests are now able to watch the new pups in their exhibit daily. The River Otter exhibit is located in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo.

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Abilene Zoo Loves Lucy

Lucy face1
The Abilene Zoo, in Texas, has a new baby Ocelot! Born Sept. 9th, to proud Ocelot parents ‘Hotrod’ and ‘Ellie’, little ‘Lucy’ is now old enough to be out on exhibit with her mother.

Lucy face2

Denise feeds Lucy

Ellie and baby LucyPhoto Credits: Abilene Zoo

The father, Hotrod, is 15 years old, and mother, Ellie, is fourteen. Lucy is their third litter together. Ocelot litters tend to range from one to three offspring.

The baby’s care has been shared by the zoo keepers and the Ocelot mother, a new experience for Ellie and the zoo. In the past, Ellie’s babies have been exclusively hand-raised, to help ensure their survival. Lucy is thriving from the extra care and attention.

“We’re lucky that the mother is allowing us to assist in rearing this baby,” said Abilene Zoo Mammal Keeper, Denise Ibarra. “It’s been successful with large cats, but this is rare in the zoo world for smaller cats to share hand-raising with parental care.”

The Abilene Zoo’s Ocelot breeding program is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP), which strives to educate the public about these threatened animals while helping to repopulate the species.

Ocelots, also called dwarf leopards, are small wild cats that live in Central America, South America, Mexico, and far South Texas. They were once killed for their beautiful spotted fur, but the species has rebounded to between 800,000 and 1.5 million worldwide. They are, however, endangered in Texas. Only about an estimated 80 to 120 wild ocelots are found in two isolated populations in southeast Texas.

More great photos below the fold!

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