[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

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Five Cheetah cubs born May 15 at Prague Zoo are growing up fast!  We introduced you to these fluffy quintuplets on ZooBorns back in June and the cubs are now thriving under the care of their six-year-old mother, Savannah.

The cubs are still behind the scenes at the zoo, but should move into their exhibit yard later this summer.

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20294273_1423188637765062_9021034933225721409_n (1)Photo Credit: Prague Zoo

Cheetah cubs remain with their mother for one to one-and-a-half years, and they are weaned at three to six months. The cubs spend a lot of time napping and playing. Play helps the cubs develop agility, as well as hone their chase and attack behaviors.  



Every cub born under human care is important to the future of Cheetahs as a species. They are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Fewer than 7,000 Cheetahs remain in eastern and southern Africa. Threats include conflict with humans, shrinking wild areas as farms and cities expand, and illegal trafficking in body parts. 

As a population, Cheetahs have very low genetic diversity, a possible cause of their low reproductive rates. Current conservation measures include cooperative programs across all countries in which wild Cheetahs are found.

 

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - julio 2017

On the evening of July 21, BIOPARC Valencia welcomed their third Western Lowland Gorilla birth!

The Spanish zoo is calling the infant by the name Ali and, although keepers haven’t confirmed, they suspect it is a female.

The new baby is an important member of the zoo’s Gorilla troop. Experienced mom, Nalani, and father, Mambie, are doing an excellent job caring for their new offspring. Aside from the proud parents and their new baby, the troop at BIOPARC Valencia includes: Mambie’s firstborn, Ebo (4-years-old), female Fossey, and Virunga (Nalani and Mambie’s 11-month-old daughter).

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4_Bosque ecuatorial - Bebé gorila recién nacido en BIOPARC Valencia - julio 2017Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two subspecies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary and secondary forests and lowland swamps in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the Gorilla most common to zoos.

The main diet of the Gorilla species is roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, tree bark and pulp, which are provided for in the thick forests of central and West Africa. An adult will eat around 18 kg (40 lb) of food per day. Gorillas will climb trees up to 15 meters in height in search of food.

Females do not produce many offspring, due to the fact that they do not reach sexual maturity until the age of 8 or 9. Female gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Unlike their powerful parents, newborns are tiny (weighing about four pounds) and able only to cling to their mothers' fur. The infant will ride on mother’s back from the age of four months through the first two or three years of life. Infants can be dependent on the mother for up to five years.

The Western Lowland Gorilla is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Population in the wild is faced with a number of factors that threaten it to extinction. Such factors include: deforestation, farming, grazing, and the expanding human settlements that cause forest loss. There is also said to be a correlation between human intervention in the wild and the destruction of habitats with an increase in bush meat hunting.

This'll Cure That Freaky Fetish

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Well, not THAT one - what do you take me for, a miracle-worker? Sheesh.

No, I mean the one with the footsies. And don't try to deny it, 'cuz I know you're out there: loitering around the pedicure station, being overly helpful at the Payless, getting WAY too excited about peep-toe pumps coming back into style - yeah, you know who you are. Well, my foot-fondling friends, it's time for a little sole searching.

And for the rest of you: put down that coffee and prepare to skip breakfast (or possibly revisit it, depending on your constitution).

This is a groom's cake, which begs the question: is the groom really that enamored with his own toe hair? And I know there's no good way to show severed appendages, but those ankle stumps are freaking me out juuust a little.

Side note: The words "cake" and "ankle stumps" should never, EVER, be used to describe the same thing.

 

Hahahahahaha! See, it's like a dead person's feet! With a toe tag! To remind you of your own mortality! Isn't that hysterical? Hahhahahaha!

Right. Two things:
1) What's up with the blue drapey bits?
2) Just for fun, try to imagine the position you'd have to be in to get your feet at that angle.

 

There is only one word to describe this next one:

AAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!

Yep, that sums it up nicely, I think.

 

Then there's the delectable world of toe fungus, which I think you'll all agree is not only a great ice-breaker at parties ("Hey, wanna see something cool?"), but also really hits the spot come dessert time.

That Dr. Pachman, he's such a fun guy, don't you think? Eh? Fungi? Eh? Booyah!

I'm not sure why he would order a "cake" made from upholstery foam, though: that somehow detracts from the otherwise yummy-looking toenails.

Side note: Dr. Pachman is quite possibly the coolest doctor name ever. Right up there with Dr. Spaceman.


Ok, guys, this is it: time for the most disgusting, fungus-riddled foot cake mine eyes have seen. Proceed with extreme caution and strong intestinal fortitude.

Urp.

What's more horrifying: the green bugs crawling under the toenails...[pausing to swallow repeatedly]...or the fact that this is for a girl? Poor Teresa: I don't think the pretty pink icing nearly makes up for that yellowish... gelatinous...layer....

[sound of running feet]

UPDATE: Whew! Sorry, folks: my constitution just gave out, if you catch my drift. On the plus side, I just may lose those 5 pounds this week!

 

Hey, Sara S., Julie R., Christina B., and Jessica M., it's time to cut loose. Foot loose.

*****

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[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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On July 6, a 12-year-old Snow Leopard named Helen gave birth to a female cub at Woodland Park Zoo.

The new cub is the first offspring for mom and her 12-year-old mate, Dhirin (pronounced as dir-in). Helen has given birth to two previous litters, with a different mate.

The mom and cub are currently in an off-view maternity den, to allow bonding and proper nursing, in a quieter setting. Zoo staff has been monitoring the mother and cub through a closed-circuit system to watch for normal behaviors.

The Zoo anticipates putting the cub and mom in the outdoor exhibit in late September. Woodland Park Zoo will be providing updates about the cub and will host a public naming via their blog and Facebook page.

As part of the exemplary animal care and health program for the Zoo’s thousand-plus animals, animal health staff performed a neonatal exam on July 20, the first time the newborn cub was handled. At that time, the cub weighed 2.6 pounds.

“Our overall assessment is the cub appears to be healthy. Her eyelids are beginning to open—one eye is already open and one remains closed—the eyelids normally open around two weeks. Her belly was full of milk, which means the cub is nursing and being nourished,” said Dr. Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo’s director of animal health.

Veterinarians will perform health check-ups every couple of weeks for weight monitoring, vaccinations, and critical blood and fecal sampling.

“Helen’s track record of providing excellent maternal skills to her past cubs continues with this cub. She’s nurturing her cub very well, they’re bonding and the cub appears to be progressing normally,” said Deanna DeBo, an animal collection manager at Woodland Park Zoo.

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4_2017_07_20 snow leopard kitten-5wmPhoto Credits: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

The cub’s parents, Helen and Dhirin, were paired under the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of Snow Leopards. Helen has lived at Woodland Park Zoo since 2008, and Dhirin arrived from Oklahoma City Zoo in 2014.

Cubs are born helpless, with their eyes closed; for several weeks they rely on their mothers for nutrition. To minimize disturbance, staff have minimal physical contact with the new family. Since Snow Leopards are solitary animals in the wild, the father lives separately from the cub; guests can see Dhirin in the Snow Leopard Exhibit.

Snow Leopards are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. The species is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. According to the Seattle-based Snow Leopard Trust, the population of these endangered big cats in the wild is estimated to be between 3,920 and 6,390.

Woodland Park Zoo has long been a conservation partner with the Snow Leopard Trust; the two organizations are partnering with Kyrgyzstan's State Agency for Environment Protection and Forestry to protect the Snow Leopards of the Tian Shan Mountains. Research cameras set up in the Sarychat Ertash reserve allow researchers to monitor the area's Snow Leopard population, which they estimate to be around 18 cats.

Woodland Park Zoo has been caring for Snow Leopards since the zoo’s first Snow Leopards arrived in 1972 from the USSR. Under the Snow Leopard SSP, 35 cubs have been born at the Zoo and have helped diversify the genetic pool of the managed population.

“This is a significant birth for Snow Leopards in zoos in North America and around the world. These majestic cats are important conservation ambassadors for their species in the wild. By experiencing these cats here, zoo guests and the community can become emotionally connected and become inspired to learn more about how to save this endangered cat that is struggling to survive in its range countries,” said Dr. Jennifer Pramuk, a curator at Woodland Park Zoo.

To help ensure the future of Snow Leopards in their native range, the zoo asks the community to support the zoo and the Snow Leopard Trust, and pledge never to buy or sell illegal animal products on the black market.

The Snow Leopard Trust was created in 1981 by late Woodland Park Zoo staff member, Helen Freeman. She is also the namesake of Helen, the mother of the newborn cub. Through innovative programs, effective partnerships, and the latest science, the SLT is saving these endangered cats and improving the lives of people who live in the snow leopard countries of Central Asia.

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Field camera shots of Snow Leopards in Tian Shan Mountains/Kyrgyzstan :

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HIT IT WITH THE ROCK

Jul. 27th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by john (the hubby of Jen)

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Steven C., Elizabeth E., and Jennifer S. for remembering that it could always be worse.

*****

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And from my other blog, Epbot:


[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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Zoo Wroclaw is excited to announce the birth of a Northern White-cheeked Gibbon. The baby arrived on June 28th, and the sex is not yet known.

Zoo Wrocław is now home to a total of three Northern White-cheeked Gibbons. The infant’s parents both arrived in October 2013. The first one to make their home at the Zoo was 9-year-old dad, Xian. He was born in Apeldorn, NL, and was sent to Wrocław via the zoo in Pilsen, Czech Republic. A week later, Xian was joined by female, Carusa. She was born in 2006 at the Osnabrück Zoo, Germany. The pair’s first offspring, a male called Dao, was born on October 17, 2014.

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4_2017-06-29 (81)Photo Credits: Zoo Wroclaw 

The Northern White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) is a species native to South East Asia. It is closely related to the Southern White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus siki), with which it was previously considered conspecific. The females of the two species are virtually indistinguishable in appearance.

The species is currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The population, in its natural habitat, is decreasing at a dramatic rate. It has shrunk by nearly a half over only three generations. According to the IUCN: “Nomascus leucogenys has suffered from deforestation through agricultural encroachment into mountainous areas and fuel-wood and timber extraction from remaining forests, especially in China and Viet Nam. Hunting for food, traditional "medicines", and their cultural value is a major threat across the range, and is likely to have been the primary cause for the decline of the species in all three countries, including the presumed extinction of this species in China (Duckworth et al. 1999; Geissmann et al. 2000).”

Northern White-cheeked Gibbons are sexually dimorphic, with males and females having different colorations. Males have black hair over their entire bodies, except for distinct white patches on their cheeks, as well as a prominent tuft of hair on the crown of head. Females are tan in color, lack a cranial tuft, and have a crest of black or dark brown fur running from the crown to the nape of the neck.

The Northern White-cheeked Gibbon is arboreal in habits, and primarily herbivorous, feeding mainly on fruits, with some leaves, buds, and flowers. However, up to 10% of their diet may be composed of insects and other small animals. They are generally sociable, living in groups of up to six individuals.

The species is monogamous, with long-lasting pair bonds. Gestation lasts 200 to 212 days. At birth, both sexes are covered in yellow-buff fur, and weigh an average of 480 g (17 oz). At around one year of age, the fur in both sexes changes to a black color, with pale cheek patches, with the sexually dimorphic adult coats only growing when they reach four or five years.

Northern White-cheeked Gibbons reach sexual maturity at seven or eight years, and are reported to have lived for at least 28 years in the wild.

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The Bride And Groan

Jul. 26th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Today's post is dedicated to all the engaged couples out there. That's right, lovebirds, I thought we might take this opportunity to consider the most important cake of your entire lives: your wedding cake.

Now, I know I feature a lot of wedding wrecks, and I know a lot of folks will point out that asking for a fondant design recreated in buttercream is asking for disaster, but don't you worry. I'm here to help. After all, this is what Leah D. ordered for HER wedding cake:

 

 

And look what she got!

It's the tinfoil-covered cookie sheet that really sells it.


Ok, yes, it's a wreck. BUT - did you notice how the inspiration cake was all buttercream, and the wreck itself is fondant? I'm just sayin'. It works both ways.

Now, don't you feel better?

No?

Ok, then how about what Susan A. ordered for her wedding? 

 

 Not a great picture (you don't see mimeographs much these days), but I think you get the general idea.

 And here's what Susan got:

Granted, I'm not sure how this is supposed to make you feel better, but trust me, guys: the REST of us are feeling grrrrr-REAT. (John! Go make some popcorn! These are gettin' GOOD.)

 

Sara M. wanted her wedding cake to be a hunk a' hunk a' burnin' love:

 

The cake! The cake! The cake is on FI-YUR!

 

But instead, her cake just suffered from a mild burning sensation and performance issues:

 

Wah-WAAAAH.

(That was my attempt at a slide-rule trombone effect. I know: I'm a veritable foley artist with words.)

 

And finally, Elizabeth P. dreamed a dream of ribbon-wrapped sweetness for her big day:

 

...but ended up with something only a mummy could love:

 Ouch. Uh...that's a wrap!

 

Thanks to all of today's brides and just remember, guys: wreck or Sweet, we're gonna need to see your wedding cake! (Oh, and we're all invited, right? RIGHT?!)

*****

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[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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Six Sidewinders were born on May 24 at Zoo Atlanta. The young Sidewinders currently live in the Zoo’s Conservation Breeding Center, a behind-the-scenes complex adjacent to Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience.

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4_sidewinder_young_2017_ZA_0948Photo Credits: Zoo Atlanta

The Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes), also known as the horned rattlesnake and sidewinder rattlesnake, is a venomous pit viper species belonging to the genus Crotalus (rattlesnakes). It is a North American native found in the Mohave and Sonoran Deserts of the southwestern United States. Known for its unique form of locomotion, it is the fastest moving of all rattlesnakes.

They are venomous, but possess less potent venom than many other rattlesnakes. Their venom glands are also a smaller size, which makes them less dangerous than their larger relatives. However, any rattlesnake bite can be fatal and should be taken seriously with medical attention sought immediately.

Females produce an average of about ten per litter. The young are born enveloped in thin embryonic membranes, from which they emerge shortly after being expelled from the mother. The young stay with their mother in a burrow for seven to 10 days, shed for the first time, then leave their natal burrow. During this time with their mother, she will guard and protect them from predators.

Sidewinders mature at two to three years of age, are capable of reproducing annually.

Sidewinders have an accelerated lifecycle, with natural life expectancies of females to be about five years. Males have a maximum known natural lifespan of about 13 years. However, Sidewinders can live more than 20 years, when well fed, in captivity (including the females).

Sidewinders are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. In the wild, females often die of exhaustion after giving birth, but the lives of sidewinders are also cut short by predation, diseases, and vehicle encounters.

Research collaboration between Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University has examined the snakes’ distinctive sidewinding movements for biologically inspired design of prototypes for search-and-exploration robots. Learn more about this study at: www.zooatlanta.org/research . 5_sidewinder_young_2017_ZA_0960

Dial-A-Wreck

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Remember how we all loved the game "Telephone" in kindergarten? Well, add in a cake, and the fun never stops!

This order was for a "black high heel":

(It's a hill, people. Get it?)

 

Specifying punctuation is always tricky:

Although I suppose if Aunt flashed Mom that would liven up the party, and it's certainly preferable to Aunt slashing Mom.

(Ok, this one is tricky, I know: the order was for Aunt/Mom - a slash, in other words.)

 

Here we have a beautifully done blue horse. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be a blue house.

 

If your message is "Philip...Woohoo!", and you actually have to say the words "dot dot dot", be prepared for just about anything.

 

And of course these never get old:

Although interestingly enough, I think that icing IS light pink. I guess the decorator was covering all her bases.

 

Thanks to Danielle M., Stefanie D., Rachel S., Michael T., and Chandra.

*****

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[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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The four female Canada Lynx kittens, at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, have been named and officially moved into their Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit on July 19.

The fuzzy headed litter was a ZooBorns feature back in mid-June: “Meet Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Canada Lynx Kittens”. They have been with their mother in an off-exhibit area since their birth on May 6, and now the kittens and ten-year-old mom, Migina, will join dad, Kajika (also ten-years-old) in the main exhibit.

Keepers reported that the litter “howdied” with dad Kajika multiple times prior to being moved on-exhibit. The Zoo defines “howdied” as: a process where they can see and smell each other with a mesh barrier in between them. The kittens and Kajika were said to be curious about each other and vocalized back and forth. They have also sniffed each other’s paws and rubbed up against the mesh. Zookeepers said these were all good signs that the Lynx family was ready to be together in their public exhibit.

Because Lynx are often called “ghost cats”, due to their nearly-noiseless nature (thanks to heavily-padded paws and light frames), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo employees recently voted to name the kittens based on famous Colorado ghost towns. The kittens have been named: Adelaide (Lake County), Norrie (Pitkin County), Frisco (Summit County), and Aspen (as in the famous tree).

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4_Canada lynx in exhibit5Photo Credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 

The Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. It ranges across Canada and into Alaska as well as some parts of the northern United States and extending down the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, where they were reintroduced in the 1990s.

Gestation lasts around 64 days. Young are usually born in May or early June. Before birth, the female prepares a maternal den, usually in very thick brush, and typically inside thickets of shrubs or trees or woody debris.

Litters contain one to four kittens, and tend to be much larger when the food supply is abundant.

Canada Lynx kittens weigh from 175 to 235 g (6.2 to 8.3 oz) at birth, and initially have greyish fur with black markings. They are blind and helpless for the first fourteen days, and weaned at twelve weeks. When their eyes open, they are a bright blue color, but as they mature, the eyes become a brown-hazel color.

Kittens leave the den after about five weeks, and begin hunting between seven and nine months of age. They leave the mother at around ten months, as the next breeding season begins, but do not reach the full adult size until around two years old.

The Canada Lynx is often trapped for its fur, and has also declined in many areas due to habitat loss. However, the IUCN currently classifies them as “Least Concern”.

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Pool Wars

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

"If you only knew the POWER [squeak] of the Dark Side. JOIN ME [squeak] and we can [squeeeeak] RULE the... [squeaksqueaksqueakSPLASH!]

 

"I find your lack of balance...disturbing.

"Towel?"

 

Thanks to Angel K. for the splishin' and the splashin'.

*****

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Superhero Sweets For SDCC

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

This weekend many of My People, aka geeks, have converged on San Diego Comic-Con - and I'm not there. [sob]

BUT!

The rest of us can still look at awesome comic book cakes and dream, right?

(By Bella Cakes)

Look at this gorgeous Wonder Woman cake! LOOK AT IT.

***

Ok, you can stop now.

Because na na na na na na... BATMAN!

(By Nayrunia)

LOVE this design; so much impact for a (relatively) simple silhouette.

 

But maybe you prefer the Dark Knight a little less... dark?

(By Lindsay Colasurdo)

Pretty piles of punchy pink, Batman!

You know, this color combo is really starting to grow on me.

 

Here's a fun Hulk cake with some priceless reactions:

(By Cheri Ross Sarner for Icing Smiles)

I admire your restraint, Elijah; I'd be gnawing on Hulk's elbow by now.

 

Anyone else love Supergirl?

'Cuz you could totally use this cake for Supergirls OR Supermans (er... men):

(By &Sweets)

 

Oh! And did you know Groot has his own comic book now? It looks fantastic, just like this cake:

(By Aroma de Azucar)

And I love that Rocket!

 

If you're after more classic comic books, though, check this out:

(By 21 Cake Lane)

Awwwwesome. The colors, the ascending dot pattern, the perfect overlapping covers - it's ALL good.

 

And another classic: Wonder Woman!

(Baker unknown)

So wonderful.

(See what I did there?)

 

Not exactly a superhero, but you have to see this fun comic book/pop art cake, made entirely with buttercream!

(By fredbutt)

C'mon. How fun is this??

 

Yet another reason why geek weddings rock:

(By Exquisite Wedding Cakes)

Joker & Harley wedding cake.

 

And finally, a dreamy color combo for some of our fav superheroes:

(By Cake Me To Your Party)

...plus maybe a favorite villain? 'Cuz I like to think that's one of Harley Quinn's bombs on top. :)

Happy Sunday, guys! Hope those of you at SDCC are having fun!

 

*****

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[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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On June 25, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre admitted a tiny male Sea Otter pup as a patient. The fuzzy-faced otter pup, now estimated to be about two months old, was found swimming alone in open water off northern Vancouver Island and brought to the Rescue Centre by a concerned citizen.

You first met the pup on ZooBorns when he was just a few weeks old. Since his arrival at the Rescue Centre, the tiny otter has received 24-hour care from staff and volunteers who feed, bathe and groom him, just as his mother would in the wild. Baby Sea Otters cannot survive on their own, and depend on their mothers for the first six months of life.

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Care and rehabilitation of rescued marine mammals is very labor-intensive, and it takes a whole team of dedicated staff and volunteers to care for this tiny pup.




The little Otter continues to gain weight steadily and has been growing stronger and more active. He now weighs nearly nine pounds and is growing quickly. He is still nursing from the bottle, and drinks 25 percent of his body weight per day in a special Otter pup formula made by the animal care team.  This week, the baby Otter was offered his first solid food – five grams of clams, which he gobbled up enthusiastically.  He eats every three hours, 24 hours a day.

The care team says the pup is curious and enjoys exploring. He pup is now grooming himself a little bit, but still needs help from the care team to remain clean and fluffy.  They also report that the pup is learning to dive and can dive to the bottom of his swim tub to retrieve toys.

Sea Otters are and Endangered species. They were hunted for their fur until the early 20th century, when their population fell to just a few thousand individuals in a tiny portion of their former range. Bans on hunting and other conservation measures have helped, but Sea Otters are still threatened by fishing net entanglement and oil spills.

 

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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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.

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19424508_1720756647953859_9021157066506608210_nPhoto Credit: Devil Ark



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.    

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

Memphis Zoo_Baby giraffe and mom

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.”

Memphis Zoo_Baby Giraffe solo

Memphis Zoo_Baby GiraffePhoto Credits: Memphis Zoo

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.

CAKETASTROPHE!! (By Special Request)

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

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.

BEHOLD!!

 

And BEHOLD!!

 

KEEP BE-HOLDING!

 

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.

Oy.

 

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:

OUCH.

(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.)

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

19989548_10154892567792106_2893453208070591933_n

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.”

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19989264_10154892566092106_159425387795079120_nPhoto Credits: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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.

Dirty-Minded Decorators

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Aw, look at the sweet cake for Sarah-Maude's second birthday:

[squinting]

 

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.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

1_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0010-7098

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.”

2_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0003-6833

3_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0004-6921

4_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0006-7012Photo Credits: Stephanie Adams/ Houston Zoo

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is native to Southeast Asia from India and Nepal in the west to Borneo in the east.

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.

5_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0007-7042

6_Baby Elephant Joy Outside-0008-7061

7_Baby Elephant Joy-0001-6296

8_Baby Elephant Joy-0002-6313

9_Baby Elephant Joy-0003-6322

10_Baby Elephant Joy-0004-6356

11_Baby Elephant Joy-0006-6395

Initial Discomfort

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

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?

Heh.

Aheh.

Heh.

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?"

*****

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