The Little Rock Zoo recently announced the arrival of two Pygmy Slow Loris babies to their family.
Born in August, the tiny male and female primates are healthy and active in their exhibit. They have been given the names Apollo and Artemis and were born to 3-year-old mom, Mihn Yih, and 7-year-old dad, Frasier.
The new births are part of a Species Survival Plan by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are currently only 56 Pygmy Slow Lorises in human care in AZA zoos, including the four at the Little Rock Zoo.
"Our work in the field of conservation is one of the most important roles we have as an AZA-accredited zoo," said Director Susan Altrui. "To have not one but two babies born here is significant not just for us but for the future of this vulnerable species."
Apollo and Artemis were born three days prior to the calculated due date the Zoo's keepers had determined based on observation. So far, first-time mom, Mihn Yih, has been an attentive mother. As she works to gather food, she is careful that she is never too far from where the two siblings are “parked” on branches. As they get older, she will leave them for longer periods of time, until they are ready to be on their own.
The Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) is a species found east of the Mekong River in Vietnam, Laos, eastern Cambodia, and China. It occurs in a variety of forest habitats, including tropical dry forests, semi-evergreen, and evergreen forests.
The animal is nocturnal and arboreal, crawling along branches using slow movements in search of prey. Unlike other primates, it does not leap. It lives in small groups with one or two offspring. An adult can grow to around 19 to 23 cm (7.5 to 9.1 in) long and has a very short tail, and it reaches a max weight of about 450 g (1.0 lb). Their diet consists of fruits, insects, small fauna, tree sap, and floral nectar.
The Pygmy Slow Loris is classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The pet trade, habitat destruction and hunting are the biggest threats to its survival.
Who thought this was a good idea?
(Never in my life have I so fervently hoped that a cake was chocolate.)
Or, Aunt Flo help us, this?
"So, when's the party?"
"At the end of the month."
Amy M., Jenna B., & Kim W., URQTs. At least, I like to think that you are. Not in a creepy way, of course, or like I know firsthand because I secretly stalk you or anything...that would just be weird. I mean, look, I'm just trying to give you a friendly compliment, in a completely platonic, non-stalker-esque kind of way, Ok? Ok. As you were.
A 9-week-old Sumatran Tiger cub was introduced to a 7-week-old Bengal Tiger cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center on September 11.
The Sumatran Tiger cub arrived from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and was introduced to the Bengal Tiger cub, currently residing at the Safari Park.
The Sumatran Tiger cub was born at the National Zoo on July 11 and was rejected by its mother a short time later. After numerous attempts to keep the mother and cub together, the animal care team decided it was in the cub’s best interest to separate them.
The Bengal Tiger cub was confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on August 23 during a vehicle inspection at the U.S./Mexico border. His story attracted worldwide media attention. Back in early September, ZooBorns introduced readers to the little cub and how he became a resident of the Safari Park: “Confiscated Tiger Cub Finds Refuge at San Diego Safari Park”
Both the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the National Zoo are members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and in a collaborative effort, both zoos’ animal care teams determined the best solution for the well-being of the two cubs would be for them to become companions.
The cubs took to each other immediately, and interacted by wrestling, jumping and engaging in a lot of friendly roughhousing—things tiger cubs do.
Park staff explained how they are able to differentiate between the two tigers. Although Sumatran Tigers, in general, are the smallest subspecies of tiger, the opposite is currently the case with the two cubs. The Safari Park’s Sumatran cub is currently the larger and darker colored of the pair, however, it won’t be long before his new companion is larger.
Guests at the Safari Park can now see them through the nursery window at the Animal Care Center during Safari Park operating hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Imani wanted this cake for her wedding, only with bright lime green flowers instead of pink:
She got this:
And Meredith asked for this design with little pumpkins instead of apples:
... but she got this:
And finally, as a baker herself, Zoey decided to keep her wedding cake design SUPER simple to avoid potential wreckage:
No piping required! Just plain frosted tiers and colored sugar crystals!
Say it with me, now:
What could possibly go wrong?
Oooh, Sherlock, you so bad.
Thanks to Imani R., Meredith R., & Zoey K., who want to know if I seriously just turned this post into a SuperWhoLock love fest. And the answer is yes, YES I DID.
Two clutches of critically endangered Bermudian Skinks have hatched at Chester Zoo. This is the first time conservationists have bred the species outside their homeland.
Known as ‘rock lizards’, the small Bermudian skinks are a much-loved cultural icon in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda and are an important part of the ecosystem.
The species is on the brink of extinction in the wild, as habitat destruction and introduced predators have almost wiped them out. In a last gasp attempt to prevent the species being lost forever, the Bermudian government called on experts at Chester Zoo to help breed the species in the UK. Now, after years of work by conservationists and 43 days of incubation, seven Skinks have hatched.
The major success at Chester Zoo is a dramatic breakthrough in the fight to save the Skink: a flagship animal in Bermuda’s species recovery programme.
It is possible that individuals bred at Chester Zoo will be reintroduced to the wild in Bermuda, whilst the zoo’s experts will also travel to the island to set up in-country breeding facilities.
In parallel with the breeding project, a team from the zoo is also working in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Bermuda on an intensive ecological study following the last remaining populations of the Skinks on both the main and offshore islands.
Dr. Gerardo Garcia, Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said, “The world’s biodiversity is under threat and we must protect our living world. Conservation is critical and breeding these skinks is a momentous event. Not only is it providing us with vital new data which will help to inform future decisions in terms of protecting the species, it will engage future generations with these fascinating animals too.”
“It has taken years of work, both out in Bermuda and here in our zoo breeding facilities, but to finally hatch these clutches of Bermudian Skinks is magnificent news.”
The Bermuda Skink has been listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Mike Jordan, Collections Director at Chester Zoo, said, “We are working hard to prevent the extinction of this unique species, found nowhere else but Bermuda – and with so few endemic vertebrates – they are incredibly important to the country. This breeding breakthrough, in tandem with our extensive work out in the field alongside the Bermudian government, is a hugely significant boost for their long term survival hopes.”
Dr. Mark Outerbridge, Wildlife Ecologist for the Bermuda Government and the zoo’s partner in Bermuda, added, “I was thrilled to hear of the recent breeding success at Chester Zoo. Skinks have been living on Bermuda for over 400,000 years, and I believe we need to do all that we can to ensure their continued survival. The captive breeding is a critical step in this process and I am very grateful to all the staff there.”
The first Bermudian Skink (Plestiodon longirostris) hatched at Chester Zoo on June 7th from an egg that was laid on May 9th. The zoo’s reptile experts were able to photograph the moment the first skink popped its head out of its egg. Two clutches, one of four and one of three, have hatched at the zoo, with seven individual new Skinks in total.
Chester Zoo’s Curator of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates, and PhD student, Helena Turner, are currently in Bermuda collecting vital data from the last remaining wild skink populations.
More great pics below the fold!
Ever wonder what could possibly go wrong with a simple inscription on a basic cake? Well, WONDER NO MORE.
Below I've listed the inscriptions some of my trusty Wreckporters ordered from professional bakeries, followed by the cakes they actually received:
"God Bless Neal"
I hear it's His middle name.
"Welcome Baby Arnold"
The spacing is what really sells it.
"Happy Birthday Mom"
Now that's a cake only a mother named Bob could love.
[Btw, I'm starting to wonder if a baker named Bob is doing these on purpose. And if so, I want to shake Bob's hand.]
"Congrats British Lit"
I hope this starts a trend; I want to see all the ways bakers butcher "Kyrgyzstanian."
"Happy Bandwidth Upgrade Day"
"Band With Upgrade" is the name of my retro Steam Powered Giraffe cover band.
(I realize only about 3 people will get that joke... and I'm ok with that.)
"Grats to Dad"
I like to think this is the baker's revenge on everyone who shortens "congratulations" to "grats." "CONGRATS" IS SHORT ENOUGH, PEOPLE.
"Old Dirty Thirty"
At some point you stop being surprised. Or so I'm told.
"When I'm 64"
That's actually how John says it when he's singing in his "drunk McCartney" voice, so maybe Kit sang her order over the phone. Drunk. While imitating Paul McCartney.
(Don't keep us in suspense, now, Kit: did you?)
Thanks to Colleen C., Suzanne R., Morgan & Eric, Katie D., Ethan D., Leslie C., Becky L., & Kit K. for really phoning it in today. ;)
The Los Angeles Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of two endangered Snow Leopard cubs!
A male and female were born on May 12 and May 13 to a three-year-old mother, Georgina, and a five-year-old father, Fred. The cubs are the first offspring for the adults, who were paired together in July 2015 as a part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The new siblings spent several months behind the scenes bonding with their mother and getting to know the animal care staff. At four months old, the cubs have now gained enough strength and coordination to navigate their outdoor habitat and make their public debut.
“We’re so excited to welcome these cubs,” said Stephanie Zielinski, animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo. “There is less known about these beautiful cats than most of the other large cat species due to the extreme habitat Snow Leopards have evolved to live in the wild. This is why it’s such an honor to be able to educate the public and give them the opportunity to observe this elusive species here in Los Angeles.”
The Zoo’s animal care staff began working with the cubs early on, separating the mom for short amounts of time to allow her rest and to help her grow accustomed to animal care staff being around her young. These interactions with the cubs helped animal care staff conduct regular exams, give vaccinations, and eventually lead to an easier transition when introducing the cubs to the outdoor habitat.
Snow Leopards in the wild are found in unforgiving environments in the cold, high mountains of Central Asia throughout 12 countries. The habitats range from alpine meadows to treeless, rocky mountains. Due to the high altitudes of its habitat, the animal has evolved to have a large nasal cavity to breathe the thin air and can retain oxygen well. The cats have a thick fur, which allows them to keep warm, and a long tail they can wrap around themselves for added warmth and protection for their ears and face. Their paws have hair cushions that act as snowshoes and also provide protection from sharp rocks. Smoky gray and blurred black markings on the cat’s pale gray or cream-colored coat provide them with handy camouflage in the mountains. Snow Leopards can tolerate extreme temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit down to 40 degrees below zero.
While Snow Leopards have perfectly adapted to the cold, barren landscape of their high-altitude home, human threats have created an uncertain future for the cats. Habitat destruction, prey base depletion, illegal trade, poaching, and conflict with the local people have led to a significant decline with only an estimated population of between 2,000 to 7,000 Snow Leopards left in the wild.
Guests of the Los Angeles Zoo can now visit the cubs, currently weighing in at around 22 pounds each, and see firsthand how energetic and playful they are. The cubs and their mother will transition, on and off exhibit, at various times throughout the day, allowing outdoor time for the adult male Snow Leopard, Fred.
Where is the moment we needed the most?
You kick up the leaves and the Volvo is lost...
You tell me your blue skies fade to grey
Your baker still hates you, too, they say
But I don't need no carryin' on!
You fall in the line just to hit a new low
You pretend that you meant to, but everyone knows
You tell me it's hard working here offline
Your coworkers mock you all the time
But I don't need no carryin' on!
So you had a bad day
You're itching downtown,
You sing a sad song just to drown out the sound!
You say you must know,
You tell me don't lie,
Then you work on a smile and you opt for the pie.
You had a bad day!
Now that's a bad day.
Thanks to wreckporters Connie L., Deborah P., Melissa F., Fribby, Monique R., Anony M., & Rachel B. for inspiring a new CW policy: from now on, we want any and all apologies handwritten. ON CAKE.
Whether you're a kid or just feel like one, nothing beats seeing one of your favorite characters in cake, am I right?
And if you've already seen Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I bet this is one of your new favorites:
(By Tattooed Bakers)
HE IS GROOT!
And just look at all that fabulous detail & airbrushing!
Here's another favorite no one's ready to "let go" just yet:
(By The Hobby Baker, photo by Alison Greenwood)
Olaf! Let's just pretend he's singing our version of his summer song.
(Those waves are fantastic, btw; love how the number 5 is floating off to the side.)
Groot and Olaf may be the new characters in town, but some classics never get old:
(By Sonata Torte)
Winnie-the-Pooh, and the whole gang, too!
I'll admit it: I still love cartoons, and I still really love the Ninja Turtles:
(By You've Been Cupcaked)
Look how cute! And lookit Mikey on his back! D'awww.
This next one is for my fellow writer Sharyn, because "it's so fluffy I'm gonna die!!"
(By The Bunny Baker)
That's Agnes from Despicable Me, and I want her stuffed unicorn.
Ever see a character you grew up with and instantly get the show's theme song stuck in your head?
(By Richards' Cakes)
"Down in Fraggle Rock!"
Time for another favorite, this time from The Lego Movie:
(By April Heather)
Would you believe April is just a hobby baker? She made this for her daughter, so I think I speak for us all when I say, "JEALOUS."
How about an old arcade classic?
(By Sculpted Sweets)
It's Pac-Man, now in 3D! Great design, great colors.
And everyone's favorite Pixar robot:
Wall-E! Look closely; that "dirt" is actually chocolate sprinkles.
And another universally loved 'bot - though I think he prefers "droid":
(By Mira que Tarta)
Like Wall-E, there are a TON of great R2 cakes out there, but I love the extra details here: the themed number 7, the Tatooine landscape, and those bitty yellow wires on R2's "feet."
And finally, from droids to dragons:
(By Richards' Cakes)
This How To Train Your Dragon masterpiece needs a closer look, so here are a few detail shots:
He's even wearing a saddle!
I'm amazed bakers this talented don't also go into the clay figurine business. I'd buy some of these dragons for my desk in a heartbeat!
Hope you enjoyed your Sweets today, everyone! Happy Sunday!
Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of three Meerkats on August 17.
The trio is the first offspring for parents Calvin (age 11) and Victoria (age 9). The pair has been together for 2.5 years but never successfully produced pups.
“Calvin and Victoria are proving to be great parents and have shown constant attention to the new additions,” said Sabrina Barnes, Area Supervisor of Primates. “We are very excited to once again have Meerkat pups at Nashville Zoo!”
Keepers have noticed Calvin and Victoria taking turns caring for the pups. When Victoria is not in the burrow nursing, Calvin is inside caring for them. Meerkat society is centered around family groups (known as “mobs”), relying heavily on group cooperation. The pups will stay at the Nashville Zoo to live in a family group.
The average litter size for Meerkats ranges from 1 to 6 pups, and pups average 25-35 grams in weight when born.
Meerkats are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. They live throughout southern Africa and are present in several protected areas, with no major threats at this time.
Nashville Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to maintain the captive population.
Just when you thought Fridays couldn't get any better, along comes...
Molly S. ordered this lovely ombré design for her wedding cake:
But instead, she got this:
Molly paid $500 for it.
It was still frozen solid in the middle.
And it left a giant puddle on the tablecloth.
Stephanie R. tells us the bride wanted a combo of these two cakes:
So, a blue ombré fade on a smooth tiered cake with a monogram?
ROGER, KILL THAT.
And finally, not a wedding cake, but Michelle tells me they wanted this for Madisyn's birthday:
I guess the baker didn't feel like making all those strands of fondant, though - which would probably be ok, provided the aforementioned baker can pipe even lines of oh who are we kidding.
Thanks to Molly, Stephanie, & Michelle for reminding us maybe it's time for a new trend. I'm thinking... chevrons. Eh? What could go wrong?
On August 27, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens welcomed a female Giraffe calf to their herd. Born to mother, Dadisi, and father, Hesabu, the calf weighed in at 143 pounds and stood 5 feet 11 inches tall.
The calf was given the official name “Shellie Muujiza”. Through a generous gift of $50,000 by long-time supporter Harold Matzner, Shellie Muujiza was named in honor of Harold’s life partner, Shellie Reade. And true to the Giraffe’s heritage, Muujiza mean ‘miracle’ in Swahili.
“We are excited to share the joyous news of our new addition, Shellie. Mother and calf are doing very well and guests have the thrilling opportunity to see them both beginning today,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “While we continue to mourn the loss of Pona, our male Giraffe who suddenly passed away in August, we find comfort in the new life that this Giraffe calf brings to The Living Desert.”
This is the seventh calf for mom, Dadisi, and ninth calf for father, Hesabu. Dadisi is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002; this is her second female calf. Hesabu is 16 years old and has lived at The Living Desert since 2002. The Living Desert is home to a herd of eight giraffe, five males and three females.
“I am proud to support The Living Desert and their important Giraffe conservation efforts,” said Matzner, who also named baby Harold, the Giraffe born at The Living Desert on April 28, 2017. “It’s a true pleasure to name two Giraffe in their magnificent herd.”
“Dadisi and her calf have bonded and are doing very well. The well-baby exam showed that all her vitals are within the normal range and she is progressing as expected,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Programs at The Living Desert. “We are grateful for Mr. Matzner’s continued generosity and support of our giraffe herd. We look forward to seeing baby Harold and baby Shellie together on the savannah habitat.”
Giraffe gestation is about 15 months. The calf will now nurse for nine to 12 months, and begin eating foliage at about four months. During the first year of her life, she will have doubled her size. Giraffe have their own individual spot-like markings and no two giraffe have the same pattern, similar to humans’ unique fingerprints.
Currently listed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as “Vulnerable”, Giraffe populations have declined up to 40% over the last 30 years. There are fewer than 98,000 giraffe in the wild. Native to southern and eastern Africa, major threats to giraffe population is habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest, and ecological changes.
Visitors can get up-close and personal with these majestic animals by participating in the Giraffe feedings from 9:00 a.m. to noon daily. For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org .
All together, now!
Happy bathday to you...
Happy birdhday to you...
Happy BLIMDAY dear...
[sound of head banging on desktop]
OH FORGET IT.
Thanks to Alex B., Alexander O., Aaron, Brittany G., Amber T., Anita B., Allison R., Anony M., Gemma G., Genevieve B, & Julia G. for the wreck-along.
Taronga Zoo announced the recent birth of a male Western Lowland Gorilla. The adorable baby was born to mum, Mbeli, and father, Kibali, on September 1st.
Primate Keeper, Alison Smith, said the team is delighted with the addition to the family at Taronga Zoo: “Mbeli is a very relaxed and confident mother. Her mother was a fantastic role model for her so she has taken that on and is really attentive toward the baby. In turn, the baby is getting stronger every day.”
Ms. Smith added, “Mbeli and baby are both doing very well and are bonding well. They are being closely watched by our Keepers and veterinary team, as well as the baby’s inquisitive big brother, MJ, who is almost two years old. MJ was present during the birth and he will be excited to start playing with his brother when he gets a little bit older.”
The birth brings the number of Taronga’s Western Lowland Gorillas to seven. The newborn is an extremely valuable addition to world breeding programs for gorillas, helping insure against rapidly declining numbers of gorillas in Africa. Western Lowland Gorillas are critically endangered, with the long-term survival of this species under serious threat due to habitat destruction and deforestation, poaching and disease outbreaks like Ebola.
Minister for Environment, the Hon Gabriel Upton MP, said the birth was a significant achievement for wildlife conservation. “The birth of this new baby gorilla is such exciting news, and helps to secure the future of the Western Lowland Gorilla, with as few as 100,000 remaining in the wild in the Congo Basin,” said Minister Upton.
“This is just one insight into the important work Taronga Zoo does to ensure species thrive. Taronga Zoo plays an important role as a world leader in conserving threatened and endangered species in Australia and worldwide,” Minister Upton said. “I congratulate Taronga Zoo on all of their efforts in ensuring the success of this birth.”
A competition will take place to name the newborn gorilla over the next two weeks via the zoo’s website at: www.Taronga.org.au.
Keen-eyed visitors to Taronga Zoo can catch glimpses of the new arrival and his family throughout the day. The best viewing times are during the Gorilla Feeding Sessions at 10.45am, 12.30am and 2.30pm.
More pics below the fold!
Halls Gap Zoo recently announced the breeding success of beautiful Spotted-tailed Quolls (or Tiger Quolls). Two healthy joeys, male and female, were born at the Australian facility.
The Zoo credits their dedicated and passionate staff for the successful breeding. The Zoo shared that the team at Halls Gap Zoo works hard to care for many threatened species, whilst sharing their passion for conserving many of the animals Australians are lucky to share their backyards with.
The Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is also known as the Spotted-tailed Quoll. It is a carnivorous marsupial of the Quoll genus Dasyurus and is native to Australia. With males and females weighing around 3.5 and 1.8 kg (7.7 and 4 lbs), respectively, it is mainland Australia's largest carnivorous marsupial, and the world's longest extant carnivorous marsupial (the biggest is the Tasmanian devil). They are found in wet forests of southeastern Australia and Tasmania.
The species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage considers the northern subspecies, D. m. gracilis, as “endangered”.
This species is vulnerable to decline because it requires certain climates and habitats, it tends to live in low densities, it is likely to compete with introduced predators and requires lots of space. The biggest threat to the Quoll is habitat destruction. Humans may also directly contribute to Quoll deaths though persecution, motor collisions, and poisoning.
"...and to avoid any possible mistakes, instead of any writing on the cake I'd like you to just use one of those plastic 'Happy Birthday' picks, please."
"No, no, I don't want you to write it, I want you to use one. You know, the 'Happy Birthday' sticks? Yes. One of those."
"Maybe I'm using the wrong word. Um... do you have a decorative plaque you put on cakes? One that says 'Happy Birthday'? Because that's all I want. Really. Just that!"
"See, now you just wrote 'pick' again."
"Aha! Well, you DID use some birthday plaques this time. But see, that's all I want! No writing, just one plain 'Happy Birthday' plaque."
"I feel like we're going in circles here.
"Tell you what, forget the sticks, picks, and plaques, k? Go ahead and write happy birthday. JUST HAPPY BIRTHDAY. That's it. Got it?"
Thanks to Emily H., Garret E., Dan N., Savannah W., Shelly F., Melissa W., & Evan H. for today's just desserts.
An Eastern Pygmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest species of monkey, has given birth to twins at Chester Zoo.
The tiny babies, weighing in at just 15 grams, will measure just five inches in length when fully grown.
Arriving to mum Audrey and dad Gumi, the mini-monkeys were born on July 25 but have only now grown to a size whereby they’re big enough to spot.
Dr. Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said, “Pygmy Marmosets actually have relatively large babies for their tiny size. An adult will only weigh up to around 150 grams and so each baby equates to around 10% of its body weight.”
Davis continued, “After giving the babies their regular feeds, mum Audrey, like all other female Eastern Pygmy Marmosets, steps aside while dad takes on the parental chores. The youngsters can therefore often be seen being carried by dad, Gumi, for long periods of time as mum takes a well-deserved break.”
Eastern Pygmy Marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea) are native to the rainforests of western Brazil, southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru. They are generally found in evergreen and river edge forests and are known to be a gum-feeding specialist, or a “gummivore”.
The Pygmy Marmoset is the world’s smallest “true monkey”. They have a head-body length ranging from 117 to 152 millimeters (4.6 to 6.0 in), a tail of 172 to 229 millimeters (6.8 to 9.0 in), and the average adult body weighs in at just over 100 grams (3.5 oz.).
They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They are threatened by both habitat loss and from being captured for the pet trade.
More great photos below the fold!