© Chester Zoo
Asian Elephant Twins Born at American Zoo: a First in the Country!
November 18, 2022
Male Asian elephant twins were born at Rosamond Gifford Zoo - the first recorded case of surviving elephant twins in the US. Less than 1% of elephant births are twins, and they are often stillborn or die shortly after due to weakness. Even though the second calf was born weaker than the first, the zoo staff managed to improve his condition! The zoo also partakes in vital research on the species, including on the deadly Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV).
Parson's Chameleons Hatch at Chester Zoo: a First in the United Kingdom!
October 18, 2022
Ten Parson's chameleons have hatched at Chester Zoo: the first time this happened in the United Kingdom! There are still 17 eggs in incubation, which takes around two years - longest known incubation period of any reptile! Native to Madagascar, this species has suffered a 20% decline in the last 20 years, due to habitat loss.
Critically Endangered Mitchell’s Monitor Lizard Twins Hatch at Kölner Zoo: First Time Reported in The Species
October 13, 2022
The Kölner Zoo welcomed Mitchell's monitor lizard twins - first time this is reported in the species! Last year, the zoo gave a home to several Mitchell's monitor lizards that had been rescued from the illegal pet trade. They have successfully bred those individuals, with 18 animals hatched, who will be sent to other zoos to establish a breeding programme for this critically endangered species.
To-Be-Reintroduced Andean Condor Chick Hatched & Raised at Ecoparque de Buenos Aires: a First in Almost Thirty Years!
October 10, 2022
Great news from Argentina, as for the first time in 29 years, an Andean condor chick has hatched and been raised at Ecoparque de Buenos Aires! Part of the Programa de Conservación del Cóndor Andino (PCCA), certified by ALPZA, this chick will be reintroduced into the wild, at Sierra Pailemán, once its plumage is fully grown.
Successful First Breeding Season at the Scottish Wildcat Breeding Centre: First Reintroductions Scheduled for 2023!
October 2, 2022
The conservation breeding programme for the Scottish wildcat is in full force, with 22 new kittens in the first breeding season. These could be the first to be reintroduced into the wild, which may happen as soon as next year! The Saving Wildcats is a conservation initiative led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, in collaboration with multiple partners, with the aim of boosting the critically endangered population of wildcats in Scotland.
Never Seen Before: Threatened Black Hornbills at British Zoo Breed for Second Time in a Year
September 12, 2022
Back in April, we shared the news that Paradise Wildlife Park had bred the threatened black hornbill - first time it happened in Europe in two years... Well, the same breeding pair has now defied expectations with two more chicks hatching in the same year - something that has never been documented in this species. These new chicks are a much needed boost for the ex situ population of this species.
Functionally Extinct Vietnamese Pond Turtles Hatch at Nordens Ark
September 5, 2022
New hope for the functionally-extinct Vietnamese pond turtle, as Nordens Ark have successfully bred the species! The illegal pet trade and habitat loss have driven the species to a point where it can no longer recover on its own. Ex situ breeding (for future reintroduction) is therefore a vital part of conservation efforts for the species.
Boost for Native Breed-for-Release Programme with Booming Breeding Season at Perth Zoo
August 10, 2022
The native species breed-for-release programme at Perth Zoo has had a boost with a thriving breeding season for the Western swamp tortoise, numbat and dibbler! The juveniles of all three species will be prepared for reintroduction once they mature, part of an ex situ programme to boost their populations in the wild.
Okapi Born at Italian Zoo - A First in the Country
June 16, 2022
A very special zoo birth indeed! In a first for Italy, an okapi has been born, at Parco Zoo Falconara. Endangered in the wild, and with a declining population, the survival of this species depends on (in situ & ex situ) conservation efforts, making any new birth a case for celebration.
First Scottish Wildcat Kittens Born at Breeding Centre
May 20, 2022
The first Scottish wildcat kittens were born at the breeding centre for the species, based at Highland Wildlife Park (Royal Zoological Society of Scotland). Eight kittens across three litters have been born so far, but more are expected... These will likely be among the first wildcats to be reintroduced in Scotland in the near future!
Iberian Lynx Cubs Born at Zoobotánico Jerez
May 16, 2022
Three Iberian lynx cubs were born at Zoobotánico Jerez, part of the ex situ programme for the species. The cubs were born to a 13-year old female named Fárfara, who is in an off-show area, and can only be seen by the public via video-surveillance. This endangered species was on the brink of extinction not so long ago, but made a comeback thanks to integrated in situ and ex situ conservation efforts.
Even though the Iberian lynx can be found in a few zoos in Portugal, Spain & France, only Zoobotánico Jerez is part of the breeding & reintroduction programme. The others house non-breeding animals that are not fit to be reintroduced or to be part of the breeding programme, releasing space from the breeding centres and working as ambassadors for the species.
Threatened Black Hornbills Hatch at British Zoo
April 22, 2022
The conservation breeding programe for the threatened black hornbill has just got a welcome boost with the hatching of two chicks at Paradise Wildlife Park. Currently, there are only 24 black hornbills in the European breeding programme for the species (EAZA Ex Situ Programme - EEP) and no chicks had hatched this year or the last.
Rare Sumatran Rhino Born at Sanctuary in Sumatra
April 14, 2022
A Sumatran rhino calf was born at a sanctuary in Sumatra, built by zoo-supported International Rhino Foundation & local partners. This is dam Rosa's first calf after eight lost pregnancies and is great news for the conservation of this Critically Endangered species, as only 80 of them remain in the wild.
The grandsire of this calf is Andalas, the first of only six Sumatran rhinos to be born in human care in the last century. His birth at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 2001 was the result of groundbreaking research by the zoo's science team, who unlocked some key aspects of this species reproductive biology!
Endangered Deer Species Born at Chester Zoo
April 5, 2022
Extra special birth at Chester Zoo... A Philippine spotted deer was born, part of a conservation breeding programme for this endangered species. Only 700 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild and ex situ efforts are an important part of the conservation of this species. The 28 captive-bred deer that were reintroduced into the wild in 2020 are doing very well!
Rare Lorikeet Chick Hatches at Paignton Zoo
February 3, 2022
A Mitchell's lorikeet chick hatched at Paignton Zoo over a month ago. A subspecies of the scarlet-breasted lorikeet, the Mitchell's lorikeet is on the brink of extinction with fewer than 50 individuals estimated to remain in the wild, in an Indonesian island. This very special chick is a boost to the ex-situ population of this subspecies and great news for its conservation.
Extinct-in-the-Wild La Palma Pupfish Hatch at Vienna Zoo
January 28, 2022
Thirty extinct-in-the-wild La Palma pupfish hatched at Zoo Vienna Schönbrunn! The zoo has been successfully breeding this species for over a decade. Native to Mexico, the La Palma pupfish went extinct in 1994 due to habitat loss. The existence of an ex situ population prevented the complete extinction of the species.
Desertas Island Snails Bred in Captivity for First Time
December 3, 2021
Two species of Desertas Island land snails have been bred in human care for the first time ever! Behind this achievement is Chester Zoo, which is working with Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas to boost the population numbers of these critically endangered species.
These species were thought to be extinct but were rediscovered in the Desertas Islands (Madeira, Portugal), with fewer than 300 individuals left for each species - the last of their kind!
Texas Kangaroo Rats Born at a Zoo: a First for the Species
November 24, 2021
Three Texas kangaroo rats were born at Fort Worth Zoo - first known breeding of this species under human care! This project is a partnership with other institutions, with the aim to create an insurance population for this species and contribute to research and reintroduction efforts!
Endangered Red-Billed Curassows Hatch at Chester Zoo
November 14, 2021
Houston Zoo's successful hatching of blue-billed curassows (see previous post) was not the only good news we are sharing today... Chester Zoo has hatched TWO red-billed curassows!
Same genus as the blue-billed curassow (𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘹), the red-billed curassow is native to Brazil, and listed as "Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with under 200 individuals left in the wild. Chester Zoo's new hatchlings are therefore a significant boost to the captive (insurance) population of this species.
Houston Zoo Hatches Critically Endangered Curassows
November 14, 2021
Some zoo births are extra special... Two blue-billed curassow chicks hatched at Houston Zoo - the offspring of the most genetically-valuable pair of the AZA's breeding programme for the species. One of the chicks is being hand-reared and the other parent-reared at their new Pantanal exhibit.
This species is native to Colombia and listed as "Critically Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with less than 2500 individuals left in the wild.
Critically Endangered Turtles Hatch at London Zoo
November 3, 2021
Amazing news from ZSL London Zoo: Three critically endangered big-headed turtles hatched at the zoo! Back in 2018, the zoo received two male and two female big-headed turtles that had been rescued from smugglers. Thanks to the expertise of the zoo's herpetology team, one of the pairs laid eggs which resulted in three new hatchlings to boost the captive population of this species!
Native to southeast Asia, this species is listed as "Critically Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to threats of hunting and the illegal pet trade. Captive breeding & reintroduction are some of the conservation actions identified.
Iberian Lynx Born at Jerez Zoo Has Its First Health Check
March 8, 2021
The Iberian lynx born at Zoobotánico Jerez last month has had its first health check. It is a healthy, 30cm-long, 877g FEMALE!
Zoobotánico Jerez is the only zoo breeding Iberian lynx for reintroduction, together with four other breeding centres, and it has been involved in this conservation programme from the very beginning.
More Eggs of Critically Endangered Loa Water Frog Laid at Zoo in Chile
January 3, 2021
Remember back in October when we shared the news that the Zoológico Nacional de Chile
had bred the critically endangered Loa water frog, after rescuing the remaining individuals of the species from their drying habitat? ... Well they weren't done yet, as around more 250 eggs have been laid since then!
This breeding programme (with the aim of future reintroduction) is the last hope for this species!
Successful Year for Scottish Wildcat Breeding Programme
December 19, 2020
Very successful year for the Scottish wildcat captive breeding programme, with the birth of 57 kittens across 10 UK institutions! The breeding programme is managed by the
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and aims to establish a solid captive population to aid reintroduction efforts. A breed-for-release centre was announced earlier this year and will be based at Highland Wildlife Park.
In an UK's first, Critically Endangered Roloway Monkey Born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
October 28, 2020
🙊Some zoo births are just extra special! In an UK's first, a critically endangered Roloway monkey was born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, from the only pair of this species in the country. With only about 200 left in the wild and 33 in zoos world-wide, this birth is great news for the species!
🐵On top of contributing to the European breeding programme, the zoo is also supporting conservation efforts for this and other threatened primates in Ghana.
Zoo Successfully Breeds the Last of the Loa Water Frogs
October 23, 2020
The Zoológico Nacional de Chile has bred the critically endangered Loa water frog!
🐸14 individuals (last of their species!) were airlifted to the zoo last year, after the only stream they are known to live dried up;
🐸12 of those survived and recovered, thanks to the zoo's herpetologists;
🐸They have now successfully bred, producing 200 offspring;
🐸Next steps: Restore their habitat & ultimately reintroduce them back in the wild!
World's First CLONED Przewalski's Horse Born from 40-year old Cryopreserved DNA.
October 21, 2020
The world's first CLONED Przewalski's horse was born in Texas over two months ago... The animal was cloned from DNA cryopreserved for 40 years by San Diego Zoo Global, bringing back genetic diversity to the captive population!
In an Europe's First, Chester Zoo Breeds the Mexican Leaf Frog
October 7, 2020
Another outstanding achievement by Chester Zoo - For the first time in Europe, they successfully bred the Mexican leaf frog!
Evidence-based husbandry in Action: The zoo's herpetologists recreated this species' natural environment - the hot & dry forests of Mexico - in order to encourage the frogs to breed... Result: 100 tadpoles hatched! 🐸
Baby Boom at Bristol Zoo's Reptile & Bug Houses
These may be challenging times, but Bristol Zoo Gardens continues with their important work and has great news to share!
🦎They successfully bred (endangered) blue tree monitors for the 2nd time (only UK zoo to do so!).
🐌Extinct-in-the-wild Partula snails were also successfully bred, increasing global captive population of three species by 10%!
🐢A tortoise and a turtle species (both threatened) were bred at the zoo as well!