Big addition: over 150 cubs and chicks born in the Moscow Zoo during the warm season

September 25, 2019
Parks and pedestrian areas

More than 150 cubs and chicks were born in the Moscow Zoo during the warm season, with East Siberian lynx, East Caucasian tur, markhors, red and pink flamingos, as well as other rare species.

‘Spring and summer are the most important seasons in the life of many Zoo inhabitants. It is the time when most animals have their offspring and raise young. Newborns have time to get stronger by autumn to survive the coming winter. This year, from March to August, more than 150 cubs and chicks appeared at the Zoo. Now our experts carefully monitor their health condition,’ said Svetlana Akulova, Director General of the Moscow Zoo.

Sichuan takins were one of the first cubs born in spring. A cub named Ayu stayed close to its mother for the first month of its life, with its diet consisting exclusively of mother's milk. It tried adult food later, including willow branches, hay, cereals and vegetables. Now the cub is growing, its weight has reached 106 kg. It will reach adult size when aged two and a half. Today, Ayu has been growing a thicker fur to keep warm in winter.

East Caucasian turs were the leaders among hoofed mammals in the young born. Their group has ten more cubs now. All of them were born in the middle of May, one after another. Markhors living next to East Caucasian turs, gave birth to six cubs. From the first days of their life, cubs fearlessly conquered steep slopes of Turya Hill, climbed the highest ledges, jumping from stone to stone. Little goats, as well as little turs, become independent soon. At the age of four weeks they start to eagerly explore the surrounding world. You can see these animals on the Turya Hill (they live there all year round).

Also, rare reedbuck dik-diks had their offspring in spring. A couple of miniature hoofed mammals had one cub. Now, it is almost six months old. With the onset of autumn, together with its relatives, little dikdik has moved to a warm enclosure in the Hoofed Animals of Africa Pavilion. Here Zoo guests can watch a close-knit family of these animals now.

The meerkat family has also increased in size. This summer, the female head of the family group gave birth to three cubs. For two weeks after birth, cubs stayed in the burrow with their mother. When they were strong enough, the female meerkat brought them out and allowed other meerkats to sniff them. All members of the group take part in the upbringing of the young, while only one dominant female can bear offspring. Meerkats live in the old part of the Zoo in the Hoofed Mammals of Africa Pavilion.

As for Madagascar cats, two females have had their offspring: Mira and Bella. Young Funtik is the father of cubs. Animals spent summer in an open enclosure near the Monkey House Pavilion, and in early September, they moved indoors.

Many birds hatched in spring and summer. A couple of black storks had two chicks. African ground hornbills Karl and Klara have three chicks hatched. First, zoologists cared for them, but now fully-fledged and strengthened little ravens Bruno, Plato and Socrates joined their older relatives Drogo and Rubens in the exhibition premises. Their enclosure is located in the old part of the Zoo, next to African crowned cranes and marmots.

Also, red and pink flamingos have had their offspring. To date, Zoo collection has 46 adult and young birds, the largest population of captive flamingos among Russian zoos. You can see chicks in the aviary on the Big Pond. So far, they do not look like their majestic parents. Chicks have grey plumage and straight bills. Flamingos will acquire their characteristic pink or red colour only by the year of life after a couple of moults, but the beak will become more curved as early as in a couple of months.

Flamingo chicks differ from their older relatives, but as for three polar owlets hatched in July, they have already caught up with their parents it size to look quite adult. Birds boast their snow-white plumage with specific grey-and-black patches.

Also, this year, the birds living in the Swamp area, located in the new part, next to Birds and Butterflies, have had their young. So, a couple of Dalmatian pelicans have now two chicks. Pink pelicans have one chick. Before the onset of cold weather, the birds will walk in the outdoor aviary, but in October they will go to the heated Birds and Butterflies Pavilion to spend the winter.

The birth of offspring in the East Siberian lynx was a long-awaited event. In spring, two kittens were born to a female Gaika and a male Chip. They are stronger now and have become quite independent. Kittens have undergone two vaccinations and veterinary inspection that established that they are a healthy male and a female, but they still have no names. Zoo keepers keep watching them to come up with the best name that suits each kitten's temper.

Besides, Alaska fur seals and many waterfowl (ruddy shelducks, black swans, mandarin ducks) had their offspring in spring and summer.

The Moscow Zoo regularly replenishes its collection that already boasts over 1,000 bird and animal species. An aardvark and three couples of gentoo penguins arrived in 2017. In 2018, it received two Amur tigers, an Amur leopard, crested curassows and common trumpeters. This year, the arrival of two giant pandas from China has become the major event for the Zoo.



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