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13. September 2011Zambezi
Baby boom on the Zambezi

Fruitful Africa

Storks have been almost permanent guests during the last few weeks at Yukon Bay - now they have moved on to the African savannah! 

 

Rothschild giraffe

On July 29, Juji’s ‘tiny’ baby (1.90 metres tall, 80 kilos!) flopped out from 2 metres up and struggled to its feet. The next few weeks were spent in the stall with Mum, recovering from the ‘journey’ and getting used to each other.

 

But now Hannover’s 51st Rothschild giraffe –Thabo- (a very welcome addition to the worldwide conservation stock of these beautiful but endangered animals) is exploring the Zambezi and charming the socks off zoo visitors by sprinting along the banks of the Zambezi – right next to the Zambezi boats!

 

Flamingos

After 31 days of sitting tight during rain and storm, finally a happy ending on the banks of the Zambezi river: on August 8 the first flamingo chick hatched out! Hidden in the bamboo away from prying eyes, another four flamingos followed on August 24, 26 and 30. Now, their tired parents will be feeding them for the next 70 days. And it will take another 3 – 4 years before the young ones resemble their parents and sport rose-colored feathers.

 

On a boat trip down Zambezi river, you have a good view of the whole colony with 90 adult flamingos and five chicks!

 

Roan antelope

Long, extremely long, far spreading and pointed ears. Hard to believe that the little female roan antelope Larissa, born on August 8, doesn’t lift off in strong wind! After spending the first few weeks behind the scenes with her mother Leonie (6), Larissa now carefully explores the enclosure the roan antelopes share with the tiny Dik Diks (behind the Zambezi show arena).

 

The roan antelope is the second largest – only eland antelopes are bigger. At birth, they weigh about 16 – 18 kg. Fully grown and with long, slightly curved horns (partially hiding the long ears!), Larissa will be about 150 cm high, up to 245 cm long and weigh around 275 kg!

 

Sloths

Close to the Zambezi river, in the Jungle House at the foot of the Gorilla Mountain, two mini-sloths, born on June 6 and June 19, can now be seen. Since their mothers – Siggi (30) and Maxi (6)- didn’t produce enough milk, both of them had to be fed by the animal keepers and therefore spent their first few weeks behind the scenes.

 

Six times a day, the keepers distracted the mothers with their favorite food (cooked carrots), took the babies, fed them with special milk and returned them to their mothers. Sloths invented slowness, so the daily feedings could easily take up to five hours to complete!

 

After about 70 days, they were now stable enough to move back to the Jungle House with their mothers. Visitors, however should be patient: the small furry bundles cling to the bellies of their mothers and rarely look out from between their long arms. As their name indicates, sloths are not known for their urge to move…

 

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