A baby wallaroo took its first hops at Oakland Zoo recently. Keepers estimate the joey was born in October-November (although it’s impossible to determine its exact birth date). The joey now comes out to graze and explore its surrounding, but hops back into its mother’s pouch for safety.
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Baby River Otters at Oakland Zoo
On Mother’s Day, two North American river otters at the Oakland Zoo had lots to celebrate. The two new moms have had their paws full with three pups each for the past few months.
Rose, the younger of the two moms, gave birth to a litter of two males and one female on January 25. A few weeks later, on February 20, Ginger gave birth to a litter of two females and one male.
Zoo staff has been monitoring the pups and administering regular checkups to ensure they are in good health. The pups have remained off exhibit while they nurse, grow, and learn to swim. (Swimming is not instinctual for otter pups.)
To learn more, visit the Oakland Zoo website.
Oakland Zoo Welcomes a Baby Baboon
Baby Akila, a Hamadryas baboon, was born on November 15 to parents Martijn and Maya at Oakland Zoo. “Akila” is a Swahili word meaning “intelligent.” Little Akila spends most of her time nursing and clinging to her mother’s back. She has four rambunctious older siblings.
The zoo also acquired two new male baboons from Prospect Park Zoo. The two 2-year-old newcomers, Milo and Kusa, are fitting in well with the troop at Oakland Zoo.
“The introductions are going wonderfully,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “We didn’t expect it to go so quickly or smoothly, but we were pleasantly surprised. The great thing about baboons is that they are very family oriented and since the new boys are not sexually mature yet, Martijn has accepted them pretty easily.”
Learn more at the Oakland Zoo website.
Name a Baby Baboon
Two baby baboons (male and female) were born at the Oakland Zoo recently. The female baby hamadryas baboon, born on March 14, was named Kabili, which is Swahili for honest and brave. The male hamadryas baboon was born on April 1 and the zoo is asking for your help in naming him!
To vote for your favorite name, visit the Oakland Zoo naming contest page, and select from three options:
- Muriu (pronounced Mahroo), which means Son
- Maliki, which means King
- Mazi, which means Sir
The two newest members of the baboon harem at the zoo are doing well. “All of the youngsters are part of the same harem,” said Senior Keeper Adrienne Mrsny of Oakland Zoo. “The siblings are very curious about the new babies and with the mothers’ permissions will look at the babies, often trying to groom or play with them. Kabili is living up to her name (Swahili for brave) by following her much older sisters in climbing and walking around to explore the exhibit. The baby male spends much of his time gazing at the world around him as he holds onto his mom; he took his first steps during his second day on exhibit.”
In the wild, hamadryas baboons inhabit Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Ancient Egyptians worshipped hamadryas baboons as the incarnation of their god Thoth.
To learn more about the baby baboons, visit the Oakland Zoo website.
Confiscated Snakes Find New Home
Oakland Zoo took in three Amazon tree boas after the snakes were confiscated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The smuggled snakes could not be returned to the wild after they were taken from South America and illegally imported into the Port of Miami.
“Animals illegally imported from the wild and into the pet trade are subjected to horrific conditions during the transport including overcrowding, extreme temperatures, and little to no sanitation, leading to a very low survival rate,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “This is also a primary cause of many species becoming endangered. When looking for pet reptiles or birds, owners should only purchase animals that are captive bred and ensure that they are dealing with a reputable source. The best option is to work with a rescue organization.”
Guests to the zoo can see the new snakes at the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room daily from 10am-4pm.
In the wild, Amazon tree boas are common in forests with high humidity, like the Amazon rainforest. They also inhabit dry areas, like savannas or dry forests, and along rivers. They hunt at night using infrared sensitivity and during the day using vision. While they are aggressive in nature, they are non-venomous.
Christmas Trees Become Zoo Animal Treats
Dozens of leftover Christmas trees were donated by a local tree lot to the Oakland Zoo after the holiday season wrapped up. And the Oakland Zoo keepers have put them to good use!
“The Christmas trees provide our zoo animals with a unique seasonal enrichment,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care at Oakland Zoo.
The trees became sticky snacks for the giraffes, zebras, camels, elephants, and goats. They provided hiding spots for goodies to entice baboons and otters. And they added a new dimension of fun to the squirrel monkeys’ exhibit.
Oakland Zoo Welcomes Baby Baboon
Meet Mimi, a baby hamadryas baboon born at the Oakland Zoo on May 21st! The little baboon is settling in well, nursing with her mother, Maya.
Mimi has two older siblings, Kodee and Mocha, who are very curious about her.
“This new baby is great because not only do we have parent raised baboons, but the other two youngsters are able to witness and participate in infant care, which will only make them better mothers in the future,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo.
Hamadryas baboons live in groups called troops. They eat vegetables, insects, and red meat. In the wild, they inhabit Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Learn more at the Oakland Zoo website.
Baby Meerkats at Oakland Zoo
Three meerkat pups were born at the Oakland Zoo. Their names are African in origin and are Ayo (joy), Rufaro (happiness), and Nandi (sweet). The pups are approaching six weeks of age and are doing well.
According to Victor Alm, Zoological Manager:
“It has been wonderful watching the mob [group of meerkats] raise the pups. It has truly been a collective effort and all the adults are taking their turns caring for and teaching the new pups their different roles and jobs needed to be a productive meerkat.”
In the wild, meerkats inhabit the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. They are physically adapted to living in the harsh desert environment. Dark patches around their eyes help them be effective lookouts by reducing the glare of the sun, much like a baseball player who paints dark lines beneath his eyes.
To learn more about meerkats, see our our Meerkat Facts page.