Great Animal Escapes

Sometimes animals outsmart us. This year, we witnessed several bold and cunning escapes.

Otter Escapes from Kansas Zoo
Kyra, a resident of the Hutchinson Zoo in Kansas, escaped from her zoo habitat on Valentine’s day and spent the week pond-hopping. Easily catching fish in other area ponds, she was unfazed by zookeeper attempts to lure her back with fish treats. But finally, she succumbed to the temptation of a hard-boiled egg.

Octopus Escapes New Zealand Aquarium

An octopus named Sid spent 5 days on the lam after escaping from his tank in a New Zealand aquarium. Sid managed to elude detection for those days by hiding in a drain that pumped fresh sea water into the aquarium.  He was caught after being spotted making a dash for an open door.

Orangutan Plans Great Escape from Adelaide Zoo

Jamming a stick into the wires of the electric fence surrounding her, Karta, a 27-year old orangutan, short-circuited the system. She then piled up debris near the concrete and glass wall and climbed out. However, after literally sitting on the fence for half an hour, she decided to go back in the enclosure after all.

Wily Prairie Dogs Escape New Exhibit at Maryland Zoo

Ten minutes after the opening of a new $500,000 prairie dog exhibit, the clever rodents found multiple escape routes.  Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.

Chimp Escape at the Chester Zoo

Thirty chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure at the Chester Zoo in England.  They made their way into a food preparation area and had the feast of their lives.

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Polar Bear Cubs Born

ourson1Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien in Canada has welcomed two polar bear cubs. The cubs were born on November 30 of this year to Aisaqvaq, a resident of the zoo.

Aisaqvaq has been acting very maternal, caring for her newborns in a birthing den created by the zoo. This comes as a relief to zoo workers because Aisaqvaq ate her previous cub, born last December.

To read more and watch videos of Aisaqvaq and her cubs visit the Zoo Sauvage website.

To learn more about polar bears, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Polar Bear.

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Baby Rhino to be Raised by Hand


The German town of Munster is the home of newly-born female rhinoceros. The unnamed baby rhino was at risk of being killed by her mother, who killed her previous two babies. Minutes after birth, the mother rhino acted aggressive toward the baby. This prompted the zoo staff to intervene and the decision was made to hand raise her. Baby rhinos need near constant help; they are fed gallons of milk each day and need to be stroked and given physical contact.

For more, visit Spiegel Online.

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Best Buddies

Giraffe and ostrich

At Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay there is an unusual pair of best friends.  Zoo keepers have noticed that Bea, a three year old giraffe, and Wilma the ostrich have been spending time together.  This is unusual because animals have a tendency to prefer the company of their own species.

Read more about giraffes at Animal Fact Guide.

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Red Panda Births

redpandababyQuadruplet red panda cubs have been born in the Denver Zoo.  The three boys and one girl are only the fifth group of quadruplets born in the United States.

Their parents, Sophia and He-Ping, were matched up from different zoos in an effort to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations. They gave birth to a set of twins last year.

Red pandas are listed as endangered species, with only 2500 in the wild. They are found in the Himalayas and feed mainly on bamboo. They are at risk because of hunting and habitat destruction.

For more information and to download a baby red panda wallpaper, visit The Denver Zoo website.

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Gorilla Gives Birth

ganaGana, a gorilla living at the Allwetter Zoo in Germany has given birth to a daughter named Claudia. Mother and baby are reported to be doing well.

Gana was in the news last year after her baby, Claudio died at three months of age. Gana was so distraught at his death that she carried the body with her for several days trying to revive him.

She has had one other baby, a female named Mary Zwo that currently resides in a zoo in Stuttgart, Germany.

For more, visit the LA Times.

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Baby Flamingo at SeaWorld Orlando

Walker, the baby flamingo

Walker is a four-week-old Caribbean flamingo at SeaWorld Orlando. He eats fish, krill, hard boiled eggs, and cereal. When he matures, he’ll also eat a special formula made just for flamingos. At three years, he’ll develop the characteristic bright pink plumage. The coloring results from eating carotenoid pigments found in a variety of plant and animal life.

For more info, see

Walker, the baby flamingo

Walker the baby flamingo

(Photos by Jason Collier/SeaWorld Orlando)

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Wily Prairie Dogs Escape from New Exhibit

Prairie dogs at Maryland Zoo

Yesterday, the Maryland Zoo opened its new $500,000 prairie dog habitat.  Unfortunately, within ten minutes, several prairie dogs tested the limits of their new home and found multiple escape routes.  Climbing and jumping over the walls, the prairie dogs had zoo workers in a frenzy chasing after them with nets.

In the end, all the prairie dogs were returned and the enclosure was secured.

For more info, see: Baltimore Sun

To learn more about prairie dogs and their interesting behavior, see Animal Fact Guide’s article about Black-tailed Prairie Dogs.

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