Sunday, June 21, 2009

babies,babies, babies!

who doesn't love a baby animal? if you don't there's something seriously wrong with you and leave my blog immediately! will do babies next in honor of meeting those beautiful ocelot cubs yesterday. the zoo highlighted all the babies through the month of may as a mom's day spotlight. i noticed the printed list left off a couple, so if you haven't seen all the babies, you will want to check them out soon! in no particular order ... newest is the francois langur, born less than two weeks ago, you can see him clinging to his mama, who surprising to me is usually at the front of the enclosure (make sure to go upstairs). you can spot baby easy as unlike the adults who are primarily black in color, the baby's are bright orange! ... in the neighboring enclosure is baya, the female howler monkey born on thanksgiving day last year. i had been stopping by doing a birth check for what seemed like a couple months, as sometimes due dates with animals just can't be predicted that closely. thanksgiving morning i wondered by, corn dog in hand and saw keeper corrine behind the fencing. i said "baby yet?" and go the good news of the am birth! and was lucky to catch a glimpse of the little thing! i was surprised to see how big in size relative to the adult the baby was compared to the baby panda i had been viewing daily via the atlanta zoo's panda cam. baya brings the family total to four, mama diamond, papa bosko and sister lupe. ... speaking of the amazing difference in not only size, but the get up and go factor right after birth, are baby giraffes! the zoo currently has two! i don't remember there ever being two babies at the same time. papa to both, sam has been a busy boy! mama bititi gave birth to female camilla in january and mama kristin gave birth to male niklas in april. ... neighbor to camilla and niklas is probably the most media attentioned baby of all, hasani, the baby gorilla born in december. the story of his birth, his mama's (monifa) disinterest, and his eventual partnering with a surrogate mom (bawang) has continually made the news. his thriving and the progress made involving a surrogate, is a testament to the care the residents get. ... sticking with primates, both tamarin species have recently expanded their families! the pied tamarin had two births in recent months, one in march and the other in may. so you will see two sized babies riding on the backs of their mama's. next to them, the most recent birth is of the emperor tamarin, maybe just about under three weeks old. i saw them a couple days after they were born and their heads looked the size of a quarter and unlike the adults they have no beards. pix are near impossible becuz of the glare on the enclosure glass. i will work on adding a link to zoo friends with high powered cameras. ... keeping with the tiniest babies, in late april/early may there was a prairie dog litter of five born. this was the first time i'd seen prairie dog babies. so small and cute zooming around. my quick fav became the apparent runt who i nicknamed small fry! ... december of last year also brought java the baby dukier. this little guy was quite elusive to me and it was prob a couple months before i caught a glimpse of him! .... last fall the most recent baby kangaroo was born. i realize now i don't know its name, but will try to add that soon. i hadn't even heard about it til keeper allison told me (thankx!). evidently it had just started to peek out of the pouch, so i went over to hopefully get a peek myself and luckily allison wandered by on break and pointed it out or i'd have never seen it! note to self, bring binoculars to the zoo! a babie who i have yet to see is the aye-aye, who is just coming into his first birthday. this birth is significant as it is (i read) the first one born in a north american zoo. ... all the babies are sooooooo cute and must see's on your zoo to do list! but i do have a special affection for two, unfortunately both have been recently transferred to other places. ... first is bulldozer, giraffe son of (you guessed it) sam the big man on the savannah! and bititi. he will be two next month and shares my birthday of august 11th. i watched him grow up and will miss my dozer do, but he has gone to safari west in santa rosa, near enough to visit. he has been paired to breed with a young female there who coincidentally i have a video of from animals planet's series "growing up". so its like i've seen both grow up and i can't wait to see their offspring! ... second is the sumatran tiger triplets, born in march. i was anxiously awaiting the chance to see the cubs, when i wandered by the big cat area one tues in mid april. i turned the corner to visit padang who resides in the corner enclosure, and there was a gathering at the glass. i thought it was unusual as there aren't that many visitors there, especially gawking so intently and oohing and awwing (not that padang isn't fantastic enough to warrant that!). corn dog in hand (do you see a pattern to my route?) i squeezed my way to the glass and saw a beautiful thing, a tiny tiger cub! i was told mama skylar had starting bringing the cubs outside one at a time the day before. i had missed the first cub in the rotation, but after about 20 minutes mama picked the second one up in her mouth and carried it inside, returning with the third one! from this day on i upped my zoo visits to 2-3 times a week. for the next 8 months, i was lucky to watch the cublets (what i call them) grow. it was an amazing experience. you just never know when, if ever you will get a chance like that. often while watching them play as babies i would think what a godsend they were on the heels of our tiger loss and wonder if tatiana's soul was now in one of those babies. unfortunately the cublets were moved to the akron zoo in may. will miss seeing them, although they had gotten so big, it was sometimes hard to tell them from their mama! word is skylar and papa george may get the go ahead to breed again soon! ... he isn't a zoo baby, but the most important baby to me, my little lion cub (who's been trying his hand at blogging!), 11 week old miracle, baby meep! ... zoo babies photo note, giraffes are baby niklas at 3 days old and dozer giving sister camilla a kiss!

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