VIDEO: First Giant Panda Cubs Born in Canada

The two little panda cubs born at Toronto Zoo are now a month old! Although they were born pink and hairless, they now resemble their mother Er Shun with the distinctive black and white markings.

The larger of the cubs weighs 1 kg, while the smaller one weighs 750 grams.

Giant panda and cub

Er Shun and her cub. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Learn more about Toronto Zoo’s giant panda cubs at their website.

Learn more about pandas at our giant panda facts article.

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VIDEO: White Lion Cubs at Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is pleased to announce that Makali, a four-year-old white lioness, gave birth to four cubs on September 26-27.

The little lion cubs are healthy, feeding well, and staying in the maternity area of the lion habitat at the zoo. The first thirty days will be critical for the cubs and zoo staff will continue to monitor them closely.

Learn more about lions at our lion facts article.

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Help Name Toronto Zoo’s Polar Bear Cub

The Toronto Zoo needs your help in naming its polar bear cub!  The staff have selected their top six names, and you can vote for your favorite at their website.

Vote here >

Here’s a video of the little cub playing in his outdoor den for the first time:

UPDATE: After 14,000 votes, the winning name was Humphrey!

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Polar Bear Cub Takes First Steps

Watch a video of a polar bear cub taking his first steps at the Toronto Zoo.

The cub was born on November 9, 2013 and is making great progress. His achievements include:

  • Standing on all four legs and taking steps forward.
  • Learning to lap up milk formula from a dish
  • Teething – his canines, incisors, and some of his molars can now be felt. He likes to bite objects like his blanket.
  • Playing – he is quite active, and he is interacting with his surroundings.
  • Gaining weight – he currently weighs about 4.5 kg, which is a 529% increase since his original birth weight of 700 grams.

Learn more at the Toronto Zoo website.


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Masai Giraffe Calf at Toronto Zoo


Toronto Zoo welcomed a baby Masai giraffe last month. The female calf was named Mstari (pronounced mi-starry), which means “stripes” in Swahili, after her late father who was called Stripes. The baby giraffe and her mother Twiga are doing very well.

“The Toronto Zoo is part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the birth of this calf is very important to the North American captive population”, says Maria Franke, Toronto Zoo Curator of Mammals. This is the 17th Masai giraffe born at the Toronto Zoo.

Photo by Ken Ardill, Toronto Zoo.

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Baby Masai Giraffe at Toronto Zoo

Masai giraffe mother and calf

Masai giraffe mother and calf at the Toronto Zoo. Photo credit: Toronto Zoo.

Twiga, a 23-year-old Masai giraffe at the Toronto Zoo gave birth yesterday to a baby female calf!

“The Toronto Zoo is part of the Masai Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the birth of this calf is very important to the North American captive population,” says Maria Franke, Toronto Zoo Curator of Mammals.

To learn more about giraffes, see our giraffe facts page.

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Toronto Zoo Breeds Critically Endangered Toad

Puerto Rican crested toad

Photo of an adult Puerto Rican crested toad by Jan P. Zegarra, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Tadpoles prepared for shipment to Puerto Rico. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Tadpoles prepared for shipment to Puerto Rico. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

The conservation team at the Toronto Zoo successfully bred the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad.  They shipped 26,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico to be released into the wild.

“This is a very proud moment for our conservation team as it not only represents release of an endangered species but we also followed recommendations given to the Species Survival Plan which led to successfully breeding toads from the north and south of Puerto Rico,” said Bob Johnson, Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians.

“Traditionally, researchers have always kept and bred the north and south toads separately. This time, on the recommendation of Canadian research geneticist Kaela Beauclerc from Trent University, we are able to increase the genetic makeup of the resulting offspring”, explains Johnson.


Approximately 26,000 tadpoles were successfully bred by the conservation team. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

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Poop Power: Toronto Zoo Animal Feces to be Converted to Energy

Construction of the ZooShare Biogas Cooperative plant in Toronto will begin soon, and in 2012, excrement from Toronto Zoo animals like rhinos and bison along with food waste from a grocery retailer will produce 4 million kilowatt hours a year, enough energy to power 350 homes every day, for a year.

The process works when the waste and bacteria ferment and gas bubbles of methane come to the surface. The gas is captured and burned, producing energy.

Rhino at Toronto Zoo

In 2012, poop from animals like this rhino at the Toronto Zoo will be converted into energy. Photo credit: leander.canaris

For more information, see:

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Zoo Poo

Toronto Zoo logoThe Toronto Zoo is planning to convert the feces from the animals at the zoo into energy.  The feces can be used to create methane, which can then be used to produce electricity.

In order to convert the feces into usable energy, the zoo must build a facility which would cost $13 million. By using the electricity produced by the facility and selling the excess electricity, zoo officials believe they can make their money back in five years.

For more info:

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