Along with the first tender buds on trees and the trill of birds, another telltale sign of spring is the arrival of cute faces at the Zoo and Safari Park. The pitter-patter of little feet takes many forms—from paws to claws and more—and each one is an important addition to its species. Here’s a look at just a few of the families celebrating new members this season.
BY Peggy Scott
Photography by Ken Bohn
It’s a Boy!
After hatching, a lesser flamingo chick at the Zoo was observed walking with a limp. Because our wildlife care specialists conduct wellness checks at the beginning and end of each day, they were able to keep tabs on how the downy little chick progressed. When the ailment persisted and swelling occurred in his foot, a trip to the Zoo hospital for an X-ray revealed a broken toe. With pain medicine and therapeutic care, his injury healed the chick is back with his flock just inside the Zoo’s main entrance.
A Matter of Teamwork
When a female black duiker was born recently, her mother was unable to care for her, so our wildlife care specialists banded together to provide assistance and get her going on the right foot—and back to her mom and dad. They live together in the black duiker/okapi mixed species habitat in the Zoo’s Ituri Forest. Like any young black duiker, she experiences short bouts of energy when she darts around—then tucks in a safe space for a rest. Our team of neonatal wildlife specialists, wildlife care specialists, and her parents worked together to ensure she received the proper nutrition, monitoring and lessons on how to be a black duiker. It really does take a village!
Zuri the Allen’s swamp monkey received a special Christmas present. On December 25, six-year-old Zuri gave birth to her second infant, a female. Zuri is also the dam (mother) of Kamili, a 1.5-year-old female who is now a big sister. The swamp monkeys share their habitat at the end of the Zoo’s Hippo Trail with a family of Schmidt’s red-tailed guenons. So the swamp monkey and Schmidt’s offspring coexist naturally together.
Following a birth in the savanna habitat at the Safari Park, a gerenuk was unable to care for her new fawn. Under the care of our specialized wildlife care and veterinary teams, the little antelope received the nutrition he needed to survive. He is doing well, as are the two little addra gazelles and a young steenbok receiving care at the same time.
Welcome, little wildebeest
The wildebeest population at the Safari Park is up—a little brindled female calf was born recently and is doing well. Wildebeest calves learn to walk within minutes of birth, and within days they are able to keep up with the herd. This species can live to be 20 years old.
New Zoo and Safari Park residents are arriving regularly, so on your next visit, see how many newcomers you can spot.