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Zoo Births

Record Breeding of the Critically Endangered Arakan Forest Turtle at a North American Aquarium

April 5, 2024

Seven Arakan Forest Turtles have hatched at Tennessee Aquarium, setting the record for the largest group of this species to ever hatch at an AZA-accredited institution. Critically endangered in the wild, and also relatively rare in human care, this successful breeding is an important step in the establishment of an insurance ex situ population for this species.

Four Giant Galapagos Tortoises Hatch at Loro Parque: A First for the Zoo!

December 12, 2023

Loro Parque has successfully bred the Giant Galapagos tortoise for the first time in the zoo's history! Four tortoises hatched - a significant milestone in ex situ conservation efforts for this threatened species.

Critically Endangered Burmese Mountain Tortoises Hatch at San Antonio Zoo

August 25, 2023

Twenty-two Burmese mountain (or Asian giant) tortoises hatched at San Antonio Zoo - their first successful hatching of this species! The Burmese mountain tortoise is critically endangered due to the illegal wildlife trade, and San Antonio Zoo is also supporting a headstarting programme that aims to reintroduce this species into the wild, in northeast India.

Candidates for Reintroduction: Two Litters of Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at North Carolina Zoo

May 15, 2023

Two red wolf litters - a total of nine pups - were born at North Carolina Zoo. They were born in an off-show area and are potential candidates for release into the wild, as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums's conservation programme (SAFE) for this critically endangered species.

Critically Endangered Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture Hatches at London Zoo

April 3, 2023

The world's highest-flying bird, the Rüppell's griffon vulture, has hatched at London Zoo - first time the zoo breeds vultures in over 40 years! The vulture chick is being cared for by the zoo's animal care team, to increase its chances of survival, as its mother had failed to successfully incubate her previous egg. This species is critically endangered in the wild, and this chick is an important addition to the European breeding programme for the species.

A First in Europe: Critically Endangered Coquerel’s Sifaka Born at Chester Zoo

February 13

Very special news announced by Chester Zoo, with the very first European birth of a coquerel's sifaka. The parents were moved from the USA as part of a conservation breeding programme for this critically endangered species, whose populations have declined by 80% in 30 years and that can only be found in nortwestern Madagascar

Six Critically Endangered Madagascar Big-Headed Turtles Hatch at Jersey Zoo

February 6

Great news from Jersey Zoo, as six Madagascar big-headed turtles hatched there - the second European zoo to breed this species! Critically endangered in the wild, the hatchlings are the offspring of a pair donated to the zoo by Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong, after being rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

Three Collared Trogon Chicks Hatched at Chester Zoo – The Only Zoo in the World Breeding this Species!

January 16, 2023

Some zoo births are extra special indeed... Three collared trogon chicks hatched at Chester Zoo - only zoo in the world breeding this species - from a pair that was among the almost 100 birds seized from the illegal wildlife trade, and given a home at the zoo, in 2018.

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.

Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at NC Zoo

May 13, 2022

Three red wolf pups were born at North Carolina Zoo. The red wolf is Critically Endangered and the ex situ population play a fundamental role in the conservation programme for this 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 

September 2020

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!

© Chester Zoo

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