Baby Springhares Hop Into Zoo Berlin


Two South African Springhares hopped onto the scene at Zoo Berlin this winter:  One was born on December 14, and the other arrived on January 12. 

Because Springhares are nocturnal, they live their days in reverse at the zoo.  Daytime exhibit lights are dimmed to moonlight levels so zoo guests can see the Springhares when they are most active.  At night, when the rest of the zoo goes dark, the lights come up and the Springhares go to sleep. 


In the wild, Springhares burrow into tunnels during the day, plugging the entrance with loose soil, and forage on leaves and tubers at night.   When threatened, Springhares retreat to their burrows for safety. 

With powerful back legs for jumping, Springhares can leap more than 15 feet (5m).  They are one of the largest of all rodents, and are hunted for food by indigenous peoples in Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.  Despite being extensively hunted, Springhares are listed as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).



Photo Credit:  Zoo Berlin

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Cavy solo

A two week old Patagonian Cavy is the latest addition to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo.  The yet-to-be named pup joins its parents and older sister in the Tisch Children’s Zoo. 

Though they look like rabbits, Cavies are rodents whose closest relatives are guinea pigs. Cavies are the fourth largest rodent in the world, reaching about 18 inches in height. They are common in the Patagonian steppes of Argentina and other areas of South America.

Mum pup
Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/WIldlife Conservation Society

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide, through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. 

You can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places at!


Baby Beaver Twins Start Swimming Lessons

Baby beaver and mom 1

The Jackson Zoo in Mississippi has recently added to their animal family with two baby beavers named Philly and Billy. Their appearance surprised to their keepers those two subsequent mornings of July 1 and 2; They suspected the female would give birth at some time soon because of her swollen mammary glands.The parents were hand-raised rescue animals that the Zoo obtained in 2006. Philly and Billy are just now venturing outside their den to swim with mom. Previous to that, they were sticking close to their parents deep within the nest box.

"If you do not see them outside, take a peek through the viewing window into the den where they continue to nurse and grow," said zoo staff. They have a beautiful outdoor exhibit so visitors may see them swimming in their pond. While their sex is not known yet, the vet does plan to give them their first physical very soon. 

The Jackson Zoo reported: "Pictures are hard to get because the babies have been sticking close to mom deep in their den."

Baby beaver and mom at Jackson Zoological Park 2

Baby beaver and mom at Jackson Zoological Park 3
Photo Credit: Jackson Zoo

American Beavers are not endangered but were once hunted to the brink of extinction for their pelts. Beavers live throughout North American and Europe. Known as the most skilled builders of all animals, their dams stop flowing water and create wetlands. That in turn provides habitats for frogs, turtles, birds, ducks, fish and other mammals. Because of this, the species is viewed as being critial to the health and stability of wetland environments.

World’s Largest Rodent Born at Paignton Zoo

On August 18th, the UK's Paignton Zoo welcomed a baby Capybara to parents David and Davina. Sometimes called a the Giant Guinea Pig, these massive rodents can grow four feet long (a rodent of unusual size perhaps?). Capybaras love to lounge, and even sleep, in swamps and rivers with only their eyes and nostrils poking out.

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

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Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Continue reading "World’s Largest Rodent Born at Paignton Zoo" »

Three Patagonian Cavy Pups

Three Patgonian Cavy (also known as Mara) pups have been born under the watchful eye of keepers at Shepreth Wildlife Park this month. The triplets have caused quite a stir at the Cambridgeshire wildlife collection, which has never had triplets born in this species before. Normally this species will give birth to singles or twins. The healthy trio can be seen alongside fellow oversized rodents - two resident Capybara brothers.

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Prairie Pups Are Out in Force

It's baby prairie dog season at the Nuremberg Zoo in Germany and, lucky for us, photographer dark-ness spent two days there capturing prarie dogs doing what they do best: eating and greeting one another. As we mentioned in a previous post, prairie dogs live in "towns" of tens of thousands or more and touch noses to say hello.

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 1

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 2

Open wide!

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 4rs

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 6

More pics below the fold.

Continue reading "Prairie Pups Are Out in Force" »

Tiny Things Debut at the SF Zoo!

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Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 1

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 2

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 3

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 2

Kisses for mom!

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 1

Photo credits: Tamarins twins - Amy Hansen, Prairie pups - Marianne Hale

Albino "Carpincho" at M'Bopicua

On Christmas Day, Uruguay's M'Bopicua Breeding Station welcomed two little capybaras, or "carpinchos" as they are known in Spanish. One of the little girls turned out to be an albino and was named "Snow White."  Although she looks suspiciously like a big guinea pig as an infant, as an adult she could grow to be over four feet long and over 230 lbs. (note: an average capybara only weighs around 100 lbs. in adulthood but maybe Snow White will be extra well fed...).

Albino capybara mbopicua 1 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 2 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 3 rs

World's Largest Rodent Has Three Tiny Babies

The Buffalo Zoo welcomed three baby capybaras on September 10th. The zoo tells us that the three babies were running around and even swimming the day they were born. The proud capybara parents have had three previous litters for a total of 20 offspring! Capybaras are the world's largest rodent with the largest recorded size at 232 lbs (105 kg)!

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Baby capybara buffalo zoo 3 

Baby capybara buffalo zoo 4
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The feisty Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada's most endangered mammal with only an estimated 30 living in the wild in 2003. However, institutions like the Calgary and Toronto Zoos launched aggressive breeding and release programs that have since bolstered the wild population to 200 or more. These pups were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 30th and the Toronto Zoo just welcomed a litter this week!

Vancouver island marmot baby and mom

Vancouver island marmot calgary zoo

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Continue reading "Marmots!" »