Spring is here and the news is great for zoos. Not only is it a great season for visiting zoos, but you're likely to see a lot of new cubs of one species or another at this time of year. Here are three of the rarer species born in U.S. Zoos the last month; jaguars, and two endangered species - Asian wild dogs, and a Sichuan takin.
1. San Diego Zoo: Jaguar Cubs
Jaguar Cubs born in San Diego Zoo on April 26, 2012: image via San Diego Zoo
They're only about 3 weeks old now and won't be ready for the public for a few months, says the San Diego Zoo, but you can see these adorable pups now on video. A brother and sister, each weighs only 5 pounds right now, but they'll grow to be anywhere from 70 to 240 pounds; after all, jaguars are the largest member of the cat family in the Western World.
San Diego Zoo is celebrating its first jaguar births in 30 years! (via)
2. Red River Zoo: Sichuan Takin
Rare Sichuan takin born in Red River Zoo: image via inforum.com
The Sichuan takin, referred to as a 'goat-antelope,' is native to Tibet and China but it is considered an endangered species because of the destruction of its habitat, and special efforts are taking place in zoos around the world, to breed the animal, much like the efforts made for the Panda bear.
The male kid born at the Red River Zoo was a very lucky birth, as his parents were quite old to breed in captivity. His mother, Luan, on loan from the San Diego Zoo, is 11 years old, and his father, Lailin, passed away recently as the oldest recorded Sichuan in captivity - he was 14 years old. (via)
3. Minnesota Zoo: Asian Wild Dog Pups, Dholes
Asian wild dog pup at the Minnesota Zoo: image: The Minnesota Zoo
Another endangered species from the east, the Asian wild dog, known as the Dhole, comes from various habitats in Thailand, Russia, China and India. It is estimated that only 2,500 dholes exist in the wild.
The Minnesota Zoo is lucky to have had two litters of dholes from their two female dholes and the mothers are sharing care-taking responsibilities for the estimated four pups, now 5-week old cubs. Though the exhibit is open now, the cubs haven't quite gotten over their shyness, so they are spending most of their time in their dens. But soon.... (via)