A record 51 Tasmanian Devil joeys were born this season at Devil Ark, a free-range breeding facility aimed at saving this iconic Australian marsupial from extinction.
This brings the total number of joeys born at Devil Ark to more than 250 since it was founded in 2010 to establish an insurance population for the now-endangered Tasmanian Devil.
More than 90% of the wild Tasmanian Devil population has disappeared in the past 20 years due to an aggressive, transmissible cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD). The Australian island state of Tasmania is the only wild home of these unique creatures.
Tasmanian Devils are marsupials, so like all marsupials, the jellybean-sized babies are born in a very underdeveloped state. About 30-50 are born, and they must crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch immediately - a distance of about three inches. But female Devils have only four teats, so only the first four to attach to a teat will survive. The babies remain attached to a teat constantly for about three months. When they emerge from the pouch, they will ride on mom’s back.
The Devils at Devil Ark are one of dozens insurance populations in Australia and at zoos around the world. DFTD is a fatal condition and has spread rapidly across Tasmania, driving the need for disease-free, genetically diverse populations as possibly the only way to save Devils from extinction.
DFTD is one of only four known naturally occurring transmissible cancers. It is transmitted like a contagious disease through biting and close contact, which occurs when wild Tasmanian Devils feed in groups, battling for access to a carcass. Devils develop large facial tumors which make eating difficult. Affected animals die from starvation.
Tasmania Devils play a vital role in Tasmania’s ecosystems by scavenging on dead animals. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Researchers are working to better understand DFTD, which was only identified in 1996.
The Memphis Zoo happily announced the arrival of a male Reticulated Giraffe calf on July 12. Giraffe mom, Wendy, chose to remain outside on-exhibit during her labor. Her new calf, Wakati, was born in the open area of the Zoo’s giraffe lot.
Wakati arrived after 15 months of gestation and is Memphis Zoo’s second giraffe birth in three months. His parents are first-time mom, Wendy, and experienced father, Niklas (who is also dad to Bogey, born April 3 of this year). Wendy was also born at Memphis Zoo in 2010 to mother, Marilyn, who remains part of the Zoo herd. Eight-year-old Niklas arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2015 from the Naples Zoo in Florida.
“We are thrilled to welcome Wakati to our giraffe family, as we’ve been waiting a while for this new baby,” shared Courtney Janney, Area Curator. “Wakati means “time” in Swahili, and we felt it was a good fit for our new arrival. Wendy immediately began showing appropriate maternal instincts, and we anticipate her keeping a close eye on Wakati as he integrates into the herd and begins to show independence.”
After 24 hours of acclimation and close monitoring, Wakati’s first medical check-up was performed. This first examination ensured that the new baby was healthy and nursing, while providing the baseline needed to assess future growth.
“Wakati’s neonatal exam went great! He looks strong and healthy,” reported Dr. Felicia Knightly, senior veterinarian at Memphis Zoo Animal Hospital. “Wakati is 5’10” in height and weighed in at 125 pounds. He’s nursing well and Wendy is already taking good care of him.”
Wakati was welcomed into the herd by another female, Angela Kate, who was in the yard during Wakati’s first steps. Although Wendy started to bond with Wakati moments after the birth by licking him clean and encouraging first steps, Angela Kate remained close by to help.
The giraffe herd at Memphis Zoo has now climbed to a total of nine with the birth of Wakati. From 1996 to 2006, Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Since 2006, at least one new giraffe calf has been born every year. Memphis Zoo has kept Reticulated Giraffes in their facility since August 1957.
The Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulate) is one of nine recognized subspecies of giraffe. Easily the tallest species on the planet, the giraffe can browse on leaves that Africa’s other grazing herbivores can’t reach.
Giraffes travel in loose, informal herds and can be found in eastern, central and southern Africa. They range across savannah, grasslands, and open woods in search of trees (especially their favorite, acacias) to feed upon.
If you guessed this new doll was Wonder Woman, you nailed it! She’s traded in her Lasso of Truth for a masquerade mask, but she still looks STRONG! ✨
The Wonder Woman Masquerade Doll is coming your way later this year!!
I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day (where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!) when I came across a rather unusual request:
Ahh, so you want to pop open the hood and take a gander inside the wrecks, is that it, Jennifer?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Hey, Jennifer, you ever wonder how cupcake cakes (ptooie!) keep their icing from falling through all those big gaps?
NOW YOU KNOW.
We just saw last week how a gender reveal cake failed to actually reveal anything - other than plain yellow cake - but here's the opposite problem:
The cake was blue inside with pink icing.
Now I'm going to show you my absolute favorite cake cake wreck of all time, Jennifer, and which I've been hanging onto for just this moment.
First, though, let me explain what (we think) happened:
A bakery was unable to sell a Halloween cake in time, but they didn't want to throw it away or reduce the price. So instead, they simply flipped the entire cake over, icing side down, and re-decorated the other side to make it into a generic birthday design.
CW reader Shannon had no idea of the skullduggery at work until she cut the cake, and found this:
That's a whoooole lotta icing, right there.
(And think how fresh!!)
And finally, I know I posted the video of this over on FB a week or two back, but here's a quick .gif reminder of the importance of proper wedding cake support:
(Watch the original video here to see them both continue to laugh hysterically, which is just adorable. Cutest couple ever!)
Welp, I hope that satisfies some of your blood lust for caketastrophe, Jennifer!
And hey, for the rest of you, the request line... IS OPEN.
Thanks to Cherie O., Leann S., Jaunna, Fribby, Sarah, & Shannon G. for reminding me of those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes - because that was a HOOT. (And also because "TRAUMATIC BIEBER" *still* makes me snort-laugh.)
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is excited to announce the May 23rd birth of a Pallas’s Cat kitten. The kitten’s birth marked the second live offspring ever produced with artificial insemination in Pallas’s Cat.
Columbus Zoo's Pallas’s Cats breeding pair, Manda and Paval, were observed mating in the winter. However, the Zoo determined that the female, Manda, was not pregnant. Animal care staff and veterinarians worked with the Carl H. Lindner Jr. Family Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical garden to conduct an artificial insemination procedure in mid-March, near the end of the pair’s winter breeding season. The subsequent birth of the Pallas’s Cat kitten is the first offspring produced by Manda and Paval.
“CREW scientists have been working in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Pallas’s Cat Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the Columbus Zoo for several years to apply reproductive sciences, such as semen freezing and artificial insemination (AI), to improve Pallas’s Cat propagation and conservation,” said Dr. Bill Swanson, Director of Animal Research for CREW. “We are pleased with the results and look forward to continuing to build an understanding of our role in the preservation of this threatened species.”
Animal care and animal health staff have only recently determined that the kitten is a female. While the kitten and her mother are venturing into the habitat, father, Paval, will not be back on view with Manda again until the kitten is ready to be on her own at around nine-months-old.
The Pallas's Cat (Otocolobus manul), also called the ‘manul’, is a small wild cat with distribution in the grasslands and mountains of Central Asia.
Since 2002, the species has been classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, predation from species (including domestic dogs), poaching, and secondary poisoning from farming pesticides and rodent control.
The Pallas's Cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who first described the cat in 1776 under the binomial Felis manul.
Aw, look at the sweet cake for Sarah-Maude's second birthday:
Although, those balloons look a little odd, don't they? Let's take a closer look...
[eyes bulging] Great Scott! Hide the children!!
And I KNOW you see what I see, people, so don't even try to accuse me of having my mind in the gutter. It's the Fireman cake all over again.
Eric N., thank goodness this was for a safely oblivious 2-year-old. Still, given how obvious those balloons are, I'm pretty sure I'd steer clear of this bakery in the future. Unless it was for a bachelorette party, of course.
The text from the Facebook entry: In the spirit of San Diego Comic-Con kicking off today, we have some exciting doll announcements to make right here on Facebook—just for you, heroes!! Let’s do this!
This speedy DC Super Hero Girl is the PURRRfect addition to any play sesh! Think you know who it is? Comment below and race back tomorrow to see if you’re right!
After a two-year pregnancy, the wait is over for the Houston Zoo’s Asian Elephant, Shanti. On July 12, the 26-year-old gave birth to a 305-pound female.
The calf has been named Joy by the zoo team that has dedicated their lives to the care, wellbeing, and conservation of these incredible animals.
Baby elephants are quite wobbly when they’re first born, so the harness seen on the images and video of Joy assists the elephant team to help her stand-steady while she’s nursing.
Shanti gave birth in the Houston Zoo’s McNair Asian Elephant Habitat cow barn under the supervision of keepers and veterinary staff. She and her calf underwent post-natal exams and are now spending several days bonding behind the scenes. During this important bonding period, the elephant team is watching for the pair to share key moments like communication and hitting weight goals.
“Our animal team is thrilled that the birth has gone smoothly,” said Lisa Marie Avendano, Vice President of Animal Operations at the Houston Zoo. “We look forward to continuing to watch Joy and Shanti bond, and introducing her to Houston.”
Since 1986, the species has been listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three generations. Primary threats are degradation, fragmentation, loss of habitat, and poaching.
*By visiting the Houston Zoo, guests help save baby elephants and their families in the wild. A portion of each zoo admission and membership goes straight to protecting an estimated 200-250 wild elephants in Asia.
Since the Houston Zoo started its work in Borneo in 2007, there has been a doubling of the elephant population on the island. The Houston Zoo also provides funds for elephant conservationist, Nurzhafarina “Farina” Othman and her team in Asia, to put tracking collars on wild elephants. This group uses collars to follow wild elephants, conducting valuable research that aids in protecting the elephants as they travel through the forests. Farina also spends time working with farmers that grow and produce palm oil, offering her guidance in responsible cultivation practices that are wildlife-friendly.
Palm oil is an ingredient in many foods and cosmetics, typically grown in areas that were previously home to animals like wild elephants. Converting pristine forests into oil palm plantations has caused extensive deforestation across Southeast Asia. Luckily, a growing number of producers are working to protect these areas and the animals that live there.
The Houston Zoo encourages people to protect elephants in the wild by supporting companies that use responsibly sourced palm oil, increasing demand for palm oil that is grown and produced without destroying the forested homes of elephants.
Monograms can add that perfect crowning touch of elegance to your wedding cake.
Or, they can look like this:
Proof that sometimes it's better to quit before letting your five-year-old write on the cake.
Still, it could be worse.
The monogram could match the rest of the cake:
Hey, it's not easy to make tinfoil look this good.
If you do find a mistake in your cake's monogram, don't panic. There are plenty of seamless ways for your baker to fix the error.
This isn't one of them.
Now, I'm all for sharing new words, broadening folks' horizons, furthering education, etc, but if you have to explain to the baker of your wedding cake what a monogram is - a "T, J, and H" put together, for example - then maybe, just maybe, a few alarm bells should go off.
Or I suppose you could just take your chances.
After all, what could go wrong?
At least the quotes add a little something "extra."
Thanks to today's wedding wreckporters Anony M., Hilary R., Cyndi P., & Cyndee M., who think all bakers should be required to ask, "Can I quote you on that?"
The Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) is one of Canada’s most endangered species. Its entire Canadian range occurs in southwestern British Columbia.
Though historic estimates suggest that as many as 1,000 Spotted Owls occurred in the province pre-European settlement, currently fewer than 30 individuals remain in Canada, with more than half of those owls residing at the NSO Breeding Facility in Langley, BC.
The primary threat to Spotted Owls is habitat loss and fragmentation through industrial activities and human expansion. Additional threats include competition from the similar Barred Owl that has invaded the Spotted Owl’s range in recent decades.
The NSO Breeding Program began in 2007 with a founding population of six adult Spotted Owls. There are currently 20 Spotted Owls residing at the breeding facility, including four breeding pairs.
As this is the first and only breeding program for this species in the world, the team has had to overcome challenges to better understand the behaviors and husbandry techniques required to successfully breed this species. The Program applies husbandry techniques such as: double clutching, artificial incubation, and hand rearing to increase the number of eggs produced and to give chicks the best chance for survival.
The Program's mission is to prevent this species from becoming extirpated from Canada by releasing captive-raised Spotted Owls back into habitat protected for the species in the province.
During the 2017 breeding season the NSO Team welcomed two chicks, Chick B and Chick D. Chick B is the first offspring for newly formed pair, Sally and Watson. Chick D is the second born to Scud and Shania. Both chicks are second-generation captive born Spotted Owls, which gives the Program confidence that captive born owls will be able to reproduce successfully.
Both chicks were artificially incubated for 32 days prior to hatching, which took an additional 85 hours! The chicks finally hatched on April 12 and April 19, 2017 and were hand raised before being returned to their parents.
The chicks have continued to grow more and more each day and left their nests in late May. As of July, the chicks are now able to fly all over their aviaries, but still rely on Mom and Dad to bring them food. They will be full grown and independent from their parents in the Fall, at which time they will undergo a routine veterinary exam and the team at the facility will find out if they are male or female.
"Okey dokey, let's just double check that order form."
Decoration: Chocolate dipped strawberry, ganache swirl and chocolate shavings over buttercream.
"Check, check, and check!"
Inscription: Leave blank
Thanks to Ross E., the bakery manager who managed to catch this before the customer arrived. Great work, Ross!
Belfast Zoo keepers have said ‘hello deer’ to a new arrival as one of their Southern Pudu has given birth!
The latest arrival was born to father, Mr Tumnus, and mother, Susan, on June 18.
The Southern Pudu originates from the lowland forests of Southern Chile and Southwest Argentina and is the smallest member of the deer family! Adults measure only 43 centimeters in height when fully grown and, at birth, a fawn is so small that it weighs less than a bag of sugar.
Senior keeper, Allan Galway, said “Although small in size, our fawn is massively important to Belfast Zoo and to the European breeding programme for the Southern Pudu. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers this species to be vulnerable to the threat of extinction and numbers in the wild have dramatically declined in recent years due to loss of habitat through deforestation, hunting and predation.”
Allan continued, “We have been giving Susan and her new arrival some space to bond, so have not yet determined the sex of the new arrival or given the fawn a name. When fawns are born they are a light brown color, and their fur is covered with small white spots. This helps the infant to camouflage in the undergrowth especially when they are left alone while the mother feeds.”
Belfast Zoo’s Southern Pudu family share their home with some other South American “amigos” including: Southern Screamers and Red Howler Monkeys.
Belfast Zoo visitors can now experience a new reptile and amphibian house. Summer visitors can also witness daily feeding times, a new visitor photography base camp, the Adventurers’ Learning Centre and can visit all the latest zoo babies.
It's time to play everyone's favorite game:
Hm. Well, it says, "Princess," and there's a scepter and a tiara on it.
So I'm going with "uterus."
"Uterus on LSD."
"Uterus with sprinkles"
"This is getting ridiculous."
And finally, today's bonus round is in the bag:
The magic baby bag.
Hey, Mandi B., Elizabeth A., Vicktoria R., Caitlin & Anthony, Kelly J., & Shayna S., you know how to politely refuse a uterus cake, right? "Thanks, but I gestate."
In a world ...
where it seemed ...
that most cakes were chewed first and THEN sold ...
one cake dared ...
to stand alone.
Made by Sylvia Weinstock Cakes for Jennifer Lopez's birthday
This summer ...
Sunday Sweets presents ...
the story of an elite group of renegade cakes ...
...who could no longer bear to stand idly by and watch the unknowing public be content with things like CUPCAKE CAKES, or NAKED CAKES, and instead decided to show the world, once and for all ...
What a freaking amazing cake really looks like.
With an all-star cast led by Tiersten Dunst, Garnish Paltrow, and Jane Fondant, with a special appearance by Posh Spice,
By Anna Elizabeth Cakes, as featured in Wedluxe magazine
Prepare to be amazed,
Hold on to your seats, as this visual thrill-ride takes you beyond the average world of poorly-piped productions, and into a snowy scene where silvery footprints lead you through a filigree-framed trompe l'oeil forest:
Where larger-than-life seahorses actually *gasp* look like seahorses.
Where you'll find yourself asking in disbelief more than once ...
'Are those real?'
(I'm talking about the flowers, of course).
See why critics are raving:
"Two enthusiastic forks up!"
"I was on the edge of my plate!"
"The taste good movie of the year!"
Coming soon ...
To a bakery near you.
(If you're lucky).
Singapore Zoo is now home to one-tenth of the global population of endangered Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos under human care, with the arrival of a female joey.
Born jellybean-sized between July and August last year to mother Blue, the female joey first showed a limb in January this year, before peeking out her hairless head later that same month.
As she approaches her one year milestone, the joey is gradually introducing herself to the world. Although a little clumsy when she first started exploring life outside her mother’s pouch, she can now be seen frequently honing her jumping and climbing skills. While she continues to pop in for mommy’s milk every now and then, she is more content to munch on favorites such as tapioca, carrot, corn, and beans.
With this birth, Singapore Zoo becomes the proud guardian of five Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos: four adults plus the new joey.
The Tree Kangaroos are managed under a Global Species Management Plan (GSMP). The plan involves coordinated efforts of participating zoos in Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, and Singapore to keep Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos as a genetically diverse assurance population should there be a catastrophic decline in the wild population.
Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are native to the rain forests of New Guinea and Irian Jaya. They feed mainly on leaves, and are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Cotswold Wildlife Park is celebrating the birth of a litter of five Eurasian Wolf cubs – the first to be born at the Park in its 47-year history.
For the first ten days of their lives, the cubs were hidden from sight in one of the underground dens their parents, Ash and Ember, had excavated. One night, after a heavy downpour of rain, Ember took her cubs out of the birthing den and placed them above ground to stay dry. This was the first time anyone had seen the cubs. Both Ember and Ash are devoted first-time parents and keepers are delighted that the youngsters are healthy.
The births were unexpected for the Wolves’ care team. Two-year old male Ash and three-year old female Ember arrived at the zoo just last year, and Wolves normally take a long time to form pair bonds. Additionally, females come into heat only once a year, between January and March.
Curator of Cotswold Wildlife Park Jamie Craig said, “Our Wolves are a new pairing and we did not really expect a successful breeding so soon. They have settled well and at present, everything with the adults and cubs is going to plan – we are keeping our fingers crossed that it continues but we have more confidence with every day that passes. The cubs will form an important nucleus to the ‘pack’ for the coming years.”
Wolves generally pair for life. Mating takes place in late winter or early spring. After a gestation period of approximately sixty-two days, the alpha female gives birth to a litter (usually between four and six cubs). At birth, the cubs are blind and deaf and are reliant on their parents for survival. After 11 to 15 days, their eyes open. Cubs develop rapidly under the watchful eye of their mother. At five weeks, the cubs are beginning to wean off their mother’s milk but cannot immediately fend for themselves and require considerable parental care and nourishment.
The Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the largest Wolf subspecies and the largest found outside of the Americas. There are almost 40 Wolf subspecies including Arctic Wolf, Tundra Wolf, critically endangered Red Wolf, Dingo and the domestic Dog.
See more photos and learn more about Eurasian Wolves below.
The Wolf was once the most widely distributed land mammal on the planet, except for humans. They were nearly eradicated in England by the 13th century. Wolves were destroyed in great numbers to protect the most important asset at that time – livestock (to which they were a constant threat). The Celts hunted Wolves in the third and fourth centuries B.C with the help of specially trained Irish Wolf Hounds. Later, Edgar the Peaceful created amnesty laws related to the Wolf: lawbreakers could pay their dues in Wolf heads. In 1560, King James VI declared that all men – no matter how old or young – participate in the hunt for Wolves. The probable date the Wolf became extinct in England was 1684. In central Europe, the battle against the Wolf took on a less frantic pace but in the first decade of the 20th Century, forty-eight states in Europe were already cleared of Wolves.
Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, a small population of Eurasian Wolves has returned to the Alps. According to latest estimates, 36 packs and five pairs have been recorded in the Central European Lowlands.
The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is proud to announce the birth of twin Red Panda cubs on June 11 to second-time mother, Mei-Li.
The first cub has been with Mei-Li since birth and has grown as expected. The second cub was significantly smaller at birth, and after close observation, the decision was made to add supplemental feedings, hoping to allow the cub to stay with mom and sibling.
However, it became evident that the second cub was going to need additional care and support and was subsequently removed for hand rearing by Animal Care staff. This cub is now gaining weight appropriately, though additional health concerns have come to light. At this point, staff will be moving forward with the current care plan and will wait for the cub to become healthier before putting it back with Mei-Li.
The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN because its population has declined by 50% over the past 20 years. This decline is primarily due to deforestation, which eliminates red pandas’ nesting sites and sources of food. Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Binghamton Zoo participates in several Species Survival Plans (SSP), ensuring the long-term health and survival of captive species, including the Red Panda.
Red Pandas can be found in the Himalayan Mountains in parts of Buma, Nepal, India, and China. Contrary to popular belief, Red Pandas are not related to the Giant Panda, but are closely related to the raccoon family.
Red Pandas spend most of their days sleeping in trees and are most active at nighttime. They are herbivores, eating berries, leaves, grains, nuts, fruits, flowers, and bird eggs.
Litter size ranges from one to four young. The young remain nest-bound for about 90 days after birth and reach their adult size at about 12 months. The maximum lifespan for Red Pandas is about 14 years.
According to Zoo staff, Cub A is on exhibit, but may not be visible for several weeks until it is big enough to climb out of the nest box. Cub B will continue to be off exhibit while under veterinary care.
The Zoo will soon host a gender reveal party and will be hosting a naming contest. Fans can also follow the growth of the Red Panda cubs via the Binghamton Zoo’s website: www.rossparkzoo.com/red-panda-cubs