A year of zoo babies
Wednesday 12 December 2012
Animal arrivals at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in 2012
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has continued to live up its nickname as the "maternity ward" this year with a bountiful baby boom. From tiny chameleons to rare red pandas to leggy giraffes, the Zoo has had a very successful breeding year.
Find out about the 2012 arrivals below:
Jengo the baby giraffe
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s newest arrival is already standing tall – at almost six feet!
The reticulated giraffe, a baby boy, was born to proud first-time parents Ijuma and Uno at 7am on September 30, taking his first wobbly steps just hours after birth.
The leggy newcomer is expected to grow a staggering inch every day in his first year – equaling an extra four feet in height.
Northern cheetah cubs
Northern cheetah Dubai is one proud mum at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – following the birth of sextuplets!
The litter of Northern cheetah cubs spent their first weeks tucked up behind the scenes with mum before making their public debut in the Zoo’s Cheetah Rock enclosure.
The playful youngsters have been getting more adventurous by the day and visitors can spot them climbing on rocks and chasing each other.
Baby yemen chameleons
Whipsnade’s Discovery Centre welcomed the birth of ten Yemen chameleon in July of this year. Measuring just half an inch at birth, they will eventually grow to around 14 inches.
The group were born bright green but can change colour for camouflage or according to their mood. They also have the unique ability to move their eyes independently and look in two directions at once.
Saki monkeys at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo were busy welcoming a bright-eyed baby to their brood this summer.
The youngster joins mum Rio, dad Kos and brothers Jose and Paulo in the Zoo’s Discovery Centre.
Although the newest arrival spent the first few weeks clinging on to mum, the cheeky monkey soon started to become more independent.
Twin moose Caramel and Toffee
Melker the European moose welcomed calves Toffee and Caramel on May 21 and the leggy pair, named after the colour of their coats, could be seen running around their paddock and getting to know their new surroundings after just a few weeks.
Georgina the pygmy hippo
She may be tiny, but a rare pygmy hippo made a big splash at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this October. The cute calf, named Georgina by zookeepers, is enjoying paddling around her heated indoor pool alongside mum, Flora, and exploring her new surroundings.
The youngster is the second born to parents Flora and Tapon, and comes 18 months after the birth of their son, Sappo, who was the first male pygmy hippo to be born in Europe.
One proud set of parents at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo had three reasons to celebrate this summer following the birth of lynx kitten triplets.
The all-girl trio, born in June to parents Maja and Timo, spent their first few weeks tucked up in their den but soon began to explore outside.
Red panda twins
Rare red panda twins born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have taken their very first peek outside!
The girls, named Yin and Yang, were born in June but have stayed tucked up close to first-time mum, Tashi, for the first few months, and are only now beginning to take tentative steps to explore their surroundings.
Hand-reared baby wallaby
Tiny Tilly was hand-reared by keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo after she was found out of her mum’s pouch in April. She was looked after by keeper Jo Shirley who carried her around in a substitute pouch made from a rucksack wherever she went – just as her real mum would do.
The seven-month-old Bennett’s wallaby, who would have been a little larger than a baked bean at birth, needed bottle feeding special milk and vitamin supplements around the clock when she was first found.
Grevy's zebra foal
At only a few weeks old this rare baby zebra born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo was already making her mum earn her racing stripes.
The Grevy's zebra foal was born on July 17 to mum Henna and dad Abeda. She is the 27th foal to be born at the Zoo as part of a European Endangered Species Programme and is an important addition to the species which is classified as 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with only an estimated 2,500 animals remaining in the wild.
Also born in 2012...
Chloe the sitatunga
Free-roaming silvery marmosets
Grace the Bongo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is part of a number of international and European breeding programmes, many of which are for species who are threatened or endangered in the wild.