Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre Announces Birth of Rare Pigmy Hippo
By Angeliné Cronje-Schwan
Pretoria, South Africa - The Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre has added to the world conservation programme with the birth of a male Pygmy hippo on 28 May 2010. In captivity, the majority of Pygmy hippos born are female, so the new male at Mokopane will most certainly contribute greatly to the conservation of the species. Currently, the international world zoo population of Pygmy hippos stands at about 190 individuals.
Mom “Marmite” and Dad “Bovril” where introduced to each other on the 23 August 2009 after being in adjacent camps as sudden introductions results in aggression between individuals. Mating was observed between the two animals between the 16 and 23 October 2009 and seven months later Marmite gave birth to little “Oxo”.
The Pygmy hippo is naturally found in West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. They prefer dense, swampy forests near rivers, streams and creeks. They are herbivores and feed on various vegetation, including succulents, tender shoots, leaves, roots, grasses, and fallen fruit. Unlike Nile hippopotamus, Pygmy hippos also feed on aquatic plants.
Pygmy hippos reach reproductive maturity at about three years of age. Gestation is between six and seven months, with the birth of a single calf, usually on land. The newborn weighs 4.5 to 6.4 kg.
Today, Pygmy hippos are listed as Appendix II animals on CITES. The IUCN classifies them as Vulnerable and the Pygmy hippos in Nigeria as Critically Endangered. These animals face more immediate danger as there are an estimated 2 000 – 3 000 individuals remaining in the wild, with the main threat being primary threat is loss of habitat. They have been hunted for their teeth and for food.
To view National Zoological Gardens of South Africa's web page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to: http://www.zandavisitor.com/forumtopicdetail-2476-National_Zoological_Gardens_of_South_Africa
Congratulations to ABQ BioPark and the proud cat parents on the birth of three snow leopard cubs. That's fantastic news and we look forward to these three playing an important role in snow leopard survival breeding and also helping educate people about their endangered cousins in the wild.
Snow leopards live in some of the most extreme environments on earth - in high altitudes and freezing temperatures. If we don't do a lot of work with communities and governments in snow leopards 12 range countries, these beautiful cats may be extinct in the wild in our life time.
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I especially liked if you go to the zoo's homepage and click on the info about naming the baby, the winner says she'd like to be able to tell her dad that a penguin was named after him for his birthday. Adorable!
If you have any interest in reading a new blog, featuring conservation of adorable animals and their habitats, please check out my website...
For more information about World Oceans Day and a list of other events in your area you can visit www.WorldOceansDay.org
Asome news on the new baby! I agree with everyone here on the fact that animals should not be in captivation. If you want to check out a really cool place in Thailand where you can care for elephants check out http://www.elephantstay.com this place is a sanctuary for retired working elephants, it's an amazing place and they do so much good for the animals who live there. I went a few months ago and it was amazing.
It's ridiculous to try extrapolate zoo animals diet to human beings, and it flies in the face of all science of the last 30 years that looked into nutrition and health research. Maybe Rudy Socha was being sarcastic? I hope so.
I fully agree with you when it comes to the captivity of orcas. These animals live considerably shorter, unhealthier lives than they normally would have in the wild. I am disgusted by what I have seen at Sea World. They claim to be trying to educate people on the animals when really it is all nothing but a circus with the animals being made to perform to attract customers. I am a little more on the fence however when it comes to some other species of dolphins, such as the ones they keep at Vancouver Aquarium. While I do not support the capture of wild dolphins, I do recognize the fact that there are species that actually live longer and perhaps healthier lives in captivity than in the wild. One of the neat things at the Vancouver Aquarium is that none of the dolphins were captured for the purpose of entertainment: they were all animals that were rescued after getting caught and injured in fishing nets and are unable to return to the wild due to their injuries. I have seen the shows and the aquarium are truly focused more on educating visitors than trying to entertain them at the animals' expense.
I know that Christian is dedicated to her aquarium job and to the rehab of sea turtles. I am proud of her.
The seashore, our accredited Summer Learning Adventure Camps merge scientific exploration Dry Tortugas National Park with hands-on fun and learning. Campers investigate marine habitats, create ocean art projects, learn about careers in oceanography, and combine the science and sports of surfing and snorkeling, all while making new friends and memories.
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Have fun with photos, message boards, chat, blog and more.
I think we should move on from having dolphins in captivity now - we all know this isn't good for them.
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is a magical place. The flora, fauna, remoteness and beauty are exquisite. Another interesting aspect is how the indigenous people there live. To learn more and see photos taken by indigenous children in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, you can visit ninosdelaamazonia.org
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