Tag archives for Zoos
A baby panda was born on September 16 at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo. The new baby is about as long as an adult’s hand, and only weighs about a quarter of a pound. Panda babies are pink when they are born–they don’t look like adult pandas at all! No one knows if the baby is a male or female yet, but the zoo will be able to tell in about a month. The new cub will receive a name when it is 100 days old, following the Chinese custom.
The last panda baby born at the zoo was named Tai Shan, seen in the picture above.
Photograph by Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP
Did you know that 71 percent of the Earth is covered by either seas or oceans and they help feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen that we breathe? This Friday, June 8, you can join aquariums and zoos around the world to celebrate World Oceans Day.
If you can’t visit your local aquarium or zoo in person, you can still participate by visiting the World Oceans Day website and pledge your commitment to keeping the oceans clean and healthy for the future.
How will you celebrate World Oceans Day?
Next week, Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo will host an animal election for “President” of the zoo. Among the candidates are a lion, an Andean condor, and a red panda. Visitors to the zoo can vote from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. If you can’t visit the zoo, you can also vote by email.
Photo courtesy of Fran Mandeville
Panda cubs traditionally receive their names 100 days after they are born, and today Zoo Atlanta officials and DreamWorks Animation announced the name! The cub was named Po after the character voiced by Jack Black in the movies Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 (in theaters May 26th). The cub received his new name with a traditional Chinese naming ceremony, including a dragon dance! Jack Black even came to the ceremony to meet his character’s namesake.
Po is the only giant panda to be born in the United States in 2010.
Get the facts on giant pandas on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Pouya Dianat
At England’s Cocester Zoo, the mandrills have been seen covering their eyes. Why? Scientists aren’t exactly sure, but one idea is that covering the eyes means that a mandrill wants to be left alone. A new study says that this behavior has been observed in the Colcester Zoo mandrills for at least ten years, and probably started with one mandrill. All of the other mandrills copied the behavior, and now all of the zoo’s mandrills cover their eyes.
This is especially interesting to scientists because humans didn’t teach this behavior to the mandrills. Study authors say that the mandrills’ behavior could be considered cultural, because of natural way the gesture developed.
Read more about the study on National Geographic News Watch.
Play Monkey Bars Gymnastics on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph courtesy Mark Laidre, University of California, Berkeley
Seven lion cubs were born at the National Zoo this summer. Lioness Shera had four cubs, while lioness Nababiep had three. Now all seven cubs have been named!
Shera’s cubs are named John, Fahari, Zuri, and Lelie. Lelie, meaning “lily,” is the winning female name from the Name a Cub contest. The name was submitted by a first-grade classroom at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia. Nababiep’s cubs are named Aslan, Lusaka, and Baruti. Baruti is the winning male name from the contest. It means “teacher” and was submitted by a daycare class from the Bright Horizons Child Care & Education at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.
Visit the National Zoo’s website to learn how the other names were chosen.
Want to help save lions? Visit Letters to Lions to find out how to send a letter to African leaders.
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian National Zoo
Baby animals are always adorable, but this fluffy young cub at Denmark’s Aalborg Zoo also has an adventurous side. The zoo has released pictures of the three-month-old Siberian tiger cub exploring her new surroundings.
Siberian tigers are the biggest cats in the world. They are an endangered species, with only 400-500 animals living out of captivity.
You can see more pictures of the baby tiger and other baby animals on the Zooborns website.
Get the facts on tigers in the Creature Feature.
(AD) Zooborns also published a book of the new animals born at the world’s zoos. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums gets 10% of each book sale!
Photograph courtesy of Tambako
Florida’s Zoo Miami welcomed a new arrival last week–a new pygmy hippo calf! The calf’s mom, Kelsey, has lived at Zoo Miami since 1993. Pygmy hippos are extremely rare. There are only a few thousand living in the wild in West Africa.
See pictures of the hippo calf on the ZooBorns website.
Want to visit the pygmy hippos? Visit the Zoo Miami website to plan your trip.
Get the facts on hippos in the Creature Feature.
In August, seven cubs were born at the National Zoo! The Zoo is giving the public a chance to name two of the cubs, one male and one female. If you want to submit a name, create a 90-second video containing the name you think would be best for one of the cubs and explain why you chose that name.
U.S. residents over the age of 13 should submit their videos by midnight on Sunday, December 5. If you are younger than 13 but you still want to participate, make it a family project and have your parent or guardian submit the video.
Learn more about the cub-naming contest on the National Zoo’s website.
Help save lions! Find out how by visiting Letters to Lions.
Lun Lun, the giant panda located at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to her third cub on November 3, 2010. This is the only giant panda to be born in the U.S. in 2010, which is great news for the endangered species.
Zoo Atlanta says the cub is “roughly the size of a cell phone” and is being well-cared for by its mother. Zoo officials will be able to examine the cub next week and determine its gender. Visitors will be able to meet the new cub in spring 2011.
In March, you helped the National Zoo pick a name for their new giant Pacific octopus. The choices were Olympus, Octavius, Ceph, and Vancouver. And the winner is… Octavius! More than half of the people who voted chose this name. If you live near Washington D.C., you can visit Octavius at the National Zoo’s Inbertebrate Exhibit.
Read more about the ocean animals at the National Zoo on the Smithsonian Institution’s website.
Check out the News Bite on octopus “mobile homes.”
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy
Photograph by Mehgan Murphy/National Zoo
Happy the hippo was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and lived there for 28 years. In recent years, he has been the zoo’s only hippo and shared a habitat with the elephants. On Monday, September 28, Happy moved out in preparation for the Asian elephant exhibit expansion. His new home is at the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin. Zoo visitors in Washington, D.C. will miss him, but at least Happy will finally have some company–two female hippos named Puddles and Patti.
Learn more about Happy’s big move on the National Zoo’s website.
Get the facts on hippos on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Meghan Murphy/National Zoo
Earlier this month, two clouded leopard cubs were born at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia. This is the first successful clouded leopard birth at the center in 16 years!
Read the whole post »
Keepers at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., were surprised when they counted three black and rufous giant elephant-shrew in their exhibit instead of two! The female elephant-shrew in the exhibit probably gave birth to the new baby in January. The baby elephant-shrew is doing well and can be seen in the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House.
See a video of the baby and learn more about the new elephant-shrew on the National Zoo’s website.
Watch a wild elephant shrew and her baby in this video.
A western lowland gorilla named Mandara gave birth to her sixth baby in the Great Ape House on January 10. The zoo isn’t sure if the tiny gorilla is a boy or a girl yet, because Mom’s keeping the baby all to herself for now.
Western lowland gorillas are listed as a critically endangered species, so these births are especially important. There have been seven successful western lowland gorilla births at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
See baby pictures and watch a video at the National Zoo.
Get the facts on mountain gorillas in the Creature Feature.