Toronto Zoo

Your Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth of Critically Endangered Sumatran Orangutan!

Your Toronto Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, born Friday April 8 at 3:06 p.m. to mother Sekali. The day prior to the birth, Sekali was exhibiting signs of restlessness and discomfort. Keepers monitored her closely overnight and although she seemed to settle down and looked comfortable, it was noted that her eyes were open for a much larger portion of the night than usual. The morning of April 8, keepers noticed Sekali was showing increasing signs of discomfort, and her water broke at 11:30 a.m. Things progressed smoothly right through to the baby’s birth. Sekali’s maternal instincts kicked in right away: she immediately held the baby against her body, cleaned it, and showed concern whenever it vocalized. She even carefully repositioned the umbilical cord when shifting positions and thanks to the maternal training provided by Keepers, Sekali brought the baby up to the Keepers to let them get a close visual check a few hours after it was born – and identify the newborn as a male!

This is the second offspring for twenty-nine-year-old Sekali, who gave birth to her son, Kembali, in 2006, and the first offspring for Budi, a fifteen-year old male. Both Sekali and Budi were born at the Toronto Zoo (to unrelated parents) and were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP). This cooperative breeding program, coupled with direct support of conservation work in Sumatra, is part of the Toronto Zoo’s commitment to ensure this critically endangered species will survive for future generations. The Toronto Zoo currently houses the only Sumatran orangutans in Canada and, as part of the AZA Sumatran Orangutan SSP, thirteen orangutans have been raised at your Toronto Zoo since 1974.


African Cheetah Emarah And Her Three Cubs At One Month Old

This adorable footage was posted by the Toronto Zoo about 3 weeks ago, when the cubs (first appearing on ZooBorns in January: https://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2022/01/your-toronto-zoo-welcomes-birth-of-cheetah-cubs.html
) were still too small to reliably sex. Until they are fully vaccinated and the weather warms up, the new family will remain cozy in their indoor habitat. As they grow and get stronger, they will gradually be introduced to their behind-the-scenes outdoor habitats, and eventually to the main cheetah habitat where you will be able to see them later this spring.

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Since the time of this video, The cheetah cubs have received their first full examination from the Veterinary team! We are excited to announce that they have two boys and one girl!

MORE PHOTOS BELOW!

Continue reading "African Cheetah Emarah And Her Three Cubs At One Month Old" »


Your Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth of Cheetah Cubs!

TORONTO, ON, Friday, January 28, 2022: Your Toronto Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of three beautiful cheetah cubs born Monday January 24! Emarah, a 4.5-year-old female cheetah and first-time mom, gave birth in the early hours of the morning after a 92-day pregnancy.
 
In preparation for cubs, the Wildlife Care team set up a maternity den for Emarah, selecting a quiet space in the cheetah house and furnishing it with a large nestbox lined with a thick layer of bedding. Emarah began exhibiting signs of labour on Sunday, including restlessness and lack of appetite. The team monitored the labour using video cameras in her habitat to ensure her privacy. She gave birth to her first cub just after 3:30 am, followed by a further three cubs over the next few hours. Unfortunately, one of the cubs did not survive, but the remaining cubs appear to be doing well and have been observed nursing and wriggling around close to their mother.
When cheetah cubs are born, their eyes are closed, and it will be about a week before they begin to open them to have a look around. During this time we minimize disturbances to give mother and cubs time to bond. The cameras allow the team to monitor Emarah and her new family as she navigates her maternal duties for the first time, and we are pleased to say she is doing very well – a real natural mom! She has been very attentive and has been seen grooming and nursing the cubs, both of which of which are excellent signs for a first-time mother. She also has been comfortable enough to start leaving the den to feed and to stretch her legs.

Unless there is cause for concern, it will be a few weeks before the vets will do their first full quick check on the cubs. Until they are fully vaccinated and the weather warms up, the new family will remain cozy in their indoor habitat; once they are several months old, we will introduce them to the outdoor habitats, including the main cheetah exhibit where guests will be able to visit them.
 
Emarah was part of the last cheetah litter born at the Toronto Zoo. While her brothers and sister have moved to other accredited zoos as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) Program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Emarah remained in Toronto . Emarah and her new family are important as her genes are not widespread in Cheetah populations in accredited Zoos. The SSP makes recommendations to best manage the cheetahs in our care. These cubs represent that next step in terms of preserving these important genes to ensure they are protected for the future.

In addition to conservation research, the Toronto Zoo team supports cheetahs in the wild through partnerships with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Cheetah populations in the wild are declining rapidly, with estimates putting the world population at somewhere around 7000. The primary threats to cheetahs in the wild are the poaching of cheetah cubs to meet demand for illegal pets and human wildlife conflict. You can support Emarah and other threatened cheetahs in the wild by making a donation to the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy, or through the Adopt an Animal program.


Orangutans Sekali and Budi Are Expecting

TORONTO, ON, Thursday, October 7, 2021: Twenty-nine-year-old Sumatran orangutan Sekali is going to be a mother again! She and father-to-be Budi (a fifteen-year-old male Sumatran orangutan) were paired at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), and the Toronto Zoo is thrilled to further contribute to the future of this critically endangered species. Sekali has had one previous offspring (male Kembali, who still lives at the Toronto Zoo); Budi is a first-time father.

Continue reading "Orangutans Sekali and Budi Are Expecting" »


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.


Cast Your Vote For "Baby Red's" Name!

 

In the late afternoon of Tuesday, July 14, 2020 The Toronto Zoo welcomed an endangered female red panda cub, affectionately known as #BabyRed, and they need YOUR help to give her a name! Beginning Saturday, September 19, 2020 – in celebration of International Red Panda Day - through Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm vote at torontozoo.com for your favorite from the selected names below:

Ada - meaning first daughter, happy, prosperous, adored
Adira - meaning strong
Apple - mom's favorite treat
Kenna - meaning born from fire

ZooBorns will cast a vote on your behalf as well! Watch this behind-the-scenes "A Day In The Life Of A Keeper" video and vote in the comments. We'll tally up the votes and submit the most popular name to Toronto Zoo.


Red River Hoglets Born at Toronto Zoo

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Photo Credit: The Toronto Zoo

A pair of Red River Hogs was born at The Toronto Zoo on February 17, and the zoo announced their arrival on National Pig Day, March 1.

The two hoglets were born to mom Tisa and dad Sir Philip Pigglesworth III. The care team says Tisa is providing expert care for her babies. This is the first litter for both parents, and the third litter of Red River Hogs born in the zoo’s history.

Tisa and her hoglets are behind the scenes in a maternity den, so they can’t yet be seen by zoo visitors. The hoglets spend the day nursing and exploring the den.

Red River Hogs are one of the most colorful members of the Pig family. They are native to western and central Africa, where they search for roots and tubers on the forest floor. As their name suggests, these Hogs often live near lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Red River Hogs live in small harems, with a single adult male and a few females with their young.

At this time, Red River Hogs are not under threat and populations are stable.


Toronto Zoo’s Pygmy Hippo Calf Needs a Name

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The Toronto Zoo’s endangered Pygmy Hippopotamus calf made her public debut on September 19 in the Zoo’s African Rainforest Pavilion!

Twelve-year-old mom, Kindia, gave birth to the female calf on August 10. The pair will be on exhibit daily from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. However, this schedule is subject to change as there may be times when she is brought inside the Pygmy Hippo Maternity Area for feeding and to enable our Veterinary and Wildlife Care teams to closely monitor her progress.

The Toronto Zoo launched their “Name Our Pygmy Hippopotamus Calf” promotion on Friday, September 21, 2018! The Zoo is asking the public to vote for their favourite name from a group of four names that have been thoughtfully selected by her Wildlife Care keeping staff.

You can cast your vote here: https://woobox.com/rhd5qk Voting ends Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 11:59 pm, and the name receiving the most votes will be announced as the winner on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

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Please cast your vote here: https://woobox.com/rhd5qk   / Photo Credits: Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is celebrating this recent birth as very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation. The species (Choeropsis liberiensis) is currently listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and there are approximately only 2,000 to 3,000 left in the wild in West Africa, with Liberia having the majority of the population. Small numbers are also found in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Over the past 100 years, the Pygmy Hippo’s habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and overall conservation efforts to save this incredible species. One of the Toronto Zoo's mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve the incredible biodiversity on the planet.

The Toronto Zoo is in a great position to bring forward the plight of the Pygmy Hippopotamus and supports Hippopotamus conservation efforts in the wild through keeper awareness events and the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.


Rub-a-dub-dub, A Pygmy Hippo In The Tub

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A Pygmy Hippo calf born at The Toronto Zoo on August 10 is already hugely popular thanks to videos shared by her care team that show her climbing, snuggling, taking a bath, and being generally adorable.

Born to mom Kindia and dad Harvey, the female calf is the first to be born at the zoo in more than 20 years. Pygmy Hippos are pregnant for 180-210 days. So far, Kindia is being an excellent mom and the calf nurses from her regularly. Pygmy Hippo calves nurse for six to eight months, and they begin eating solid foods around two to four months of age.

The calf has not yet been named.

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At birth, Pygmy Hippos weigh about 10 – 14 pounds. This little calf is gaining weight steadily, and already weighed more than 25 pounds at three weeks of age. Adults weigh 400-600 pounds.

Each morning, the baby gets a bath so she can get clean and become acclimated to water, which is where adult hippos spend much of their time. Her care team notes that she rolls over in the tub and even blows bubbles. Even when it’s not officially bathtime, the calf sneaks in a little soak by climbing into her water dish for a quick dip.

Kindia and her calf are currently living in a private maternity habitat and are not visible to the public. This allows mother and baby time to bond and for the care team to maintain a close eye on the new arrival.

This birth is very important for Pygmy Hippopotamus conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Only 2,000-3,000 remain in West Africa’s forests, with most of that population in Liberia. Small numbers are also found in Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. 

Over the past 100 years, Pygmy Hippo habitat has declined dramatically as a result of logging, farming, and human settlement. As deforestation continues and their habitat becomes more fragmented, newly accessible populations are coming under increasing pressure from hunters.

Kindia arrived at the Toronto Zoo from Parc Zoologique de La Fleche in Sarthe, France in 2016 as part of a global breeding program. The Toronto Zoo is part of the Pygmy Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to establish and maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population, and to support conservation efforts to save this incredible species.

“Partnering with our colleagues by bringing Kindia over from France to mate with our male Hippo has allowed us to strengthen the genetics of the global population,” said Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo.