A pair of Asian Small-clawed Otters at the Santa Barbara Zoo produced their first litter of pups. Three healthy offspring were born in a nesting box in their holding area on October 7.
As in the wild, Otter parents prefer to keep their pups safely tucked in a den. The Zoo’s newborn Otters will not leave the behind the scenes holding area until they are old enough to safely swim and have grown the teeth needed to eat solid foods.
Depending on how their development progresses, keepers estimate the pups could go on exhibit as early as mid-December.
Animal Care staff had recently confirmed that new mom, Gail, was pregnant and estimated that she was due any day. When keepers arrived the morning of October 7, Gail and the father, Peeta, remained in the nesting box.
“The parents didn’t come out to greet us, and then we heard squeaks,” said the Zoo’s Curator of Mammals Michele Green. “That’s how we knew Gail had given birth.”
Gestation is 68 days, and after birthing, the female stays in the nesting box with the pups. Otter moms are given some relief, however, when new dads take over care for short periods of time.
Both of the adult Otters are first-time parents. According to keepers, the pair is showing excellent parenting skills toward the two females and one male.
“Gail only arrived in March and it’s been fun to watch them bond, and now become parents,” says Green. “She’s a young mom, but doing very well. Peeta is attentive and diligent.”
Peeta was born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. in 2008. Gail was born at the Greensboro Science Center in North Carolina in 2013. The two were paired as part of a cooperative breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The names (inspired by characters in the popular “Hunger Games” books and movies) were given by their Santa Barbara Zoo sponsors, Peter and Pieter Crawford-van Meeuwen.
Another female, Katniss, was first paired with Peeta, but they did not breed. She passed away in December 2016 from a kidney ailment.
The last time Asian Small-clawed Otters were born at the Zoo was in May 2011 when six pups were born to a pair named Jillian and Bob. That pair also produced five young in August 2010, the first of the species to be born at the Zoo in more than 20 years. The entire family group later moved to the National Zoo, where they live today.
Keepers predict that by January, the pups should be proficient swimmers, and will be on-exhibit at that time. Information on the progress of the Otter pups will be made available at the Zoo’s website: www.sbzoo.org .
Although the Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea syn. Amblonyx cinereus) is only listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN, the species is seriously threatened by rapid habitat destruction for palm oil farming and by hunting and pollution. They are considered an “indicator species,” meaning their population indicates the general health of their habitat and of other species.
The species is the smallest Otter in the world and lives in freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps throughout Southeast Asia, including southern India and China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula. They prefer quiet pools and sluggish streams for fishing and swimming.
Unlike Sea Otters, they spend more time on land than in water, but they are skillful, agile swimmers and divers, with great endurance. They can stay submerged for six to eight minutes.
Asian small-clawed otters are about two feet long and weigh less than ten pounds (half the size of North American River Otters). Their claws do not protrude beyond the ends of the digital pads, thus their names, and their feet do not have fully developed webbing and look very much like human hands.
They are one of the few species of Otter that live in social groups. The bond between mated pairs of Asian Small-clawed Otters is very strong. Both the male and female raise the young and are devoted parents. In the wild, Asian Small-clawed Otters live in extended family groups of up to 12 individuals. The entire family helps raise the young, which are among the most active and playful of baby animals.
「「そのまま出して!」 …って言えばいいの?」 (Sonomama Dashite!' ...tte Ieba Ii no?)
""Just Whip it Out Now!" ...Can I say that?"
Three girls in and the poor boy is already losing his mind.
The post Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shobitch na Ken – 02 appeared first on Random Curiosity.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of two healthy litters of Tasmanian Devil joeys! According to keepers, this is one of the most successful years to date for the Zoo’s Tasmanian Devil conservation breeding program.
The first litter of three joeys arrived on March 19 to mother Lana. Keepers were recently able to take a close look at each joey and confirm their sex (two males and one female). Another female, Pooki, birthed four joeys more recently on June 19, which are yet to emerge from the pouch.
“We’re very pleased to see nurturing, maternal instincts from both Lana and Pooki, who are both two-year-old females and first-time mothers,” Taronga Western Plains Zoo Senior Keeper Steve Kleinig said.
“The three joeys born in March…are now weaned (meaning they have left mother Lana’s pouch) but they still remain close by her side. They are now playing with each other and exploring independently outside the den.”
“The four joeys born in June are starting to open their eyes and become more aware of their surroundings. While they are still attached to their mother's teats, we’re expecting they will begin to leave their mother’s pouch in the coming weeks,” Steve said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is part of a national insurance population program designed to help save the Tasmanian Devil from becoming extinct as a result of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease*.
The Zoo’s breeding success this year is the result of a more targeted approach, and has benefited from favorable breeding recommendations. These are based on the unique characteristics and genetics of a breeding pair and, combined with their compatibility upon meeting, can determine breeding success.
“We are continuing to collaborate with other breeding institutions to improve the long-term viability of our program, such as Devil Ark in the Barrington Tops, where Lana and Pooki came from, and Tasmania’s Trowunna Wildlife Park, where the father originated,” Steve said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has two breeding facilities for the Tasmanian Devil located behind the scenes. The Zoo has bred 31 healthy Tasmanian Devil joeys so far - a significant boost to the regional zoo-based insurance population of this endangered species.
With Tasmanian Devil numbers in the wild currently dwindling to between 15,000 and 50,000 individuals, every birth is significant. The mainland breeding program of which the Zoo is a part could play an important role in helping to re-establish healthy wild populations of the species in Tasmania if needed in future.
The Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is a carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. It was once native to mainland Australia, but it is now found only in the wild on the island state of Tasmania, including tiny east coast Maria Island where there is a conservation project with disease-free animals.
The Tasmanian Devil is the size of a small dog and became the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world following the extinction of the Thylacine in 1936. It is related to Quolls and distantly related to the Thylacine.
It is characterized by its stocky and muscular build, black fur, pungent odor, extremely loud and disturbing screech, keen sense of smell, and ferocity when feeding. The Tasmanian Devil's large head and neck allow it to generate among the strongest bites per unit body mass of any extant mammal land predator, and it hunts prey and scavenges carrion as well as eating household products if humans are living nearby.
A breeding Tasmanian Devil female can produce up to 50 young that are about the size of a grain of rice. Competition for survival is fierce, and only the first four joeys are able to latch onto the mother’s teats.
In 2008, the Tasmanian Devil was assessed and classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN. In 2009, the Australian Government also listed the species as “Endangered”, under national environmental law.
*Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) is an infectious cancer that only affects Tasmanian Devils, and is transmitted through biting, fighting and mating. Since the first official case of DFTD in Australia in 1996, there has been a decline of up to 50-70 per cent of the Tasmanian Devil population across the majority of Tasmania.
The original Blade Runner is a film without heroes, but to me, the most sympathetic characters have always been the four rogue replicants that Rick Deckard hunts down and kills over the course of the film. Designed for slave labor, their rebellion demonstrates a conviction that they deserve to freely exist just like the human beings they’re so closely modeled on. And they do deserve that. Of course they do. Their leader, Roy Batty, may kill people in his quest to secure freedom and longer lifespans for himself and his fellow replicants, and those murders are unjustified, but the people he kills are not blameless; especially not Eldon Tyrell, who has built his massive corporate empire on the backs of the replicant slave labor he manufactures and sells. Batty is violently rebelling against an inherently violent system, one which asserts that he is subhuman and should be killed for daring to think otherwise.
Blade Runner 2049 gives us a different breed of replicant: obedient replicants who have internalized their own dehumanization within human society, and as a result, willingly comply with what is demanded of them, even when those demands involve “retiring” other replicants. Ryan Gosling’s Officer K is one such replicant; like Deckard some thirty years before him, he works for the LAPD as a blade runner. He doesn’t believe he deserves equality with human beings or that he should be anything more than a tool to perform a job. Until eventually, he starts to think that maybe he does.
People who have seen the film may anticipate that the “real girl” I mention in the headline is Joi, K’s hologram girlfriend, but it’s not. Joi is a troubling figure in the film, a commodified embodiment of male fantasy which the film never examines closely or critically enough, and she deserves a piece all her own. No, the real girl here is me. I walked into Blade Runner 2049 a trans woman and I walked out of it a trans woman, so I know a thing or two about dehumanization. In Batty and the other replicants of the original film, I’ve always seen the familiar decision to assert one’s own validity as a person in a world that constantly tells you that you aren’t one, a frightening and radical act that trans people often have to perform every time they walk out the door and into a hostile world. In this way, I’ve always related to those replicants, and felt a kind of kinship with them. I was surprised to feel a very different kind of kinship with Officer K.
Trans people withstand an endless barrage of hate, one that I’m constantly guarded against on the interpersonal level and the political level. It is strange to reckon with the fact that I live in a country whose president just joked that his own VP “wants to hang” LGBT people. The notion that people like me are not fully human is literally in the White House, right now. Meanwhile, TERFs (trans-excusionary radical feminists) are running rampant on Twitter, returning with newfound vigor to their crusade to delegitimize trans women.
Of course, though, as we never have the luxury of forgetting, the more immediate danger could emerge at any moment from almost anyone around us. Today on Twitter I read about a man who told his employees what he thought was a humorous story of a friend of his who deliberately picked up a trans woman at a bar just so he could assault her. The world is full of people like this man, those who view trans people as so subhuman that attacks on us are something to laugh about, or those eager to attack us themselves.
You never have any way of knowing when you might come across one of those people. It hasn’t been a week since the last time someone made it clear that he despised me for being trans and made me feel physically endangered. It’s just part of life. In the film, we see this kind of violence horrifyingly displayed when the ruthless industrialist Niander Wallace brutally slaughters a newborn female replicant because she can’t give birth; she doesn’t meet his arbitrary standard of what’s “real” and therefore she’s subhuman, worthless, even though she can think and feel, and suffer. This is also the violence of dehumanizing transphobia.
I think I’m brave. I think it takes bravery to live an authentic life in a world where doing so is dangerous on multiple levels. That doesn’t mean that the culture’s hostility toward me never seeps into my skin and sloshes around inside me. I’m strong but I’m not strong enough to weather it all unaffected, and there have been times when I myself have internalized shreds of the culture’s hate for trans people, when I have idealized cis-ness, seeing it as “authentic,” as “real,” and myself as something else, something lesser, doomed to be an imitation of something better and more true. This is why I related to Officer K. It’s the exact flipside of my connection with Batty’s bunch in the original film. In them, I see my conviction that I deserve to live freely, authentically, without shame or fear. In K, I see those times when I’ve internalized the culture’s ubiquitous assertions that I actually don’t deserve that at all.
At a certain point, K’s feelings begin to change. He begins to think that maybe he’s not just another replicant. Maybe he’s more “real.” This begins when he discovers that Rachael, the replicant played by Sean Young in the original film, gave birth to a child. Because of a memory of his childhood, a memory he previously believed was implanted and wasn’t something he’d ever actually lived, he starts to suspect that he is the miracle child, that he was born and not made.
But here’s the thing: it shouldn’t matter. In terms of determining K’s value as a person, it shouldn’t matter at all. It only matters to K because he’s been convinced that he, and others like him, aren’t real. Being born would make him, in his own eyes, something closer to a real human being. The most awful thing the world has done to K is to put him on a spectrum where he’s defined as less than human. The world defines so many of us that way every day. It shouldn’t matter. But it does. Because there’s institutional power behind it. Because there’s violence behind it. Because when the world tells you day in and day out that you’re worth less, it’s hard not to start believing it sometimes.
One of the most important exchanges in 2049 occurs late in the film, when K asks Deckard if his dog is real. “I dunno,” Deckard replies, in a way that suggests it makes no difference. The dog is a companion. The dog likes whisky. The dog is real, whether or not the dog is “real.” K eventually learns that he’s not the child of Deckard and Rachael, that he wasn’t born, he was made. He’s devastated by the revelation that he’s not special in that particular way, that he’s actually just like any other replicant.
And yet, the film knows that actually nobody is “just like” anybody else, that replicants and hologram girlfriends are no more interchangeable than human beings. Presented with a facsimile of Rachael, Deckard looks at her and says that Rachael’s eyes were green and that he knows what’s real. After losing his Joi, K encounters an interactive ad for the Joi product line, but he seems to know that the connection he had with his particular Joi can’t be replaced. So K himself, now aware of his own existence as an individual, can’t go back to being an obedient replicant who accepts his own status as subhuman and serves an institution that violently enforces this baseless, imposed hierarchy. Maybe he finally understands that every replicant, including himself, is real, even if they don’t meet the culture’s artificial, oppressive standards of what constitutes “real.”
(For more on Blade Runner, watch our FREQ Show episode on race and gender in the original film.)
All of Feminist Frequency’s work – web pieces just like this one, videos, newsletters and interviews – is completely free to the public. But, everything we produce requires research, staff time and resources.
We need your help to keep our feminist media analysis and educational materials easily available and accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Pitch in and donate now to make sure these pieces keep coming.
The Wilds welcomed a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf born in the pasture during the afternoon of October 5. The calf is the second fifth-generation White Rhino to be born outside of Africa (both fifth-generation calves were born at The Wilds).
The new calf was born to second-time mother, Anan, and first-time father, Roscoe. Anan’s first calf, a male named Letterman (born at The Wilds in 2014), was the first fifth-generation White Rhino to be born outside of Africa.
Anan had a notable birth herself, as she was the first fourth-generation Rhino to be born outside of Africa, and she, too, was born at The Wilds. Anan’s mother, Zen, was the very first Rhino born at The Wilds in 2004 and is still a part of the conservation center’s breeding herd.
The Wilds animal management team members have observed that the new calf is strong and is nursing in the pasture. This is the 17th White Rhino born at The Wilds; the conservation center has also produced seven Asian One-horned Rhinos.
The breeding recommendations are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) to enhance conservation of these species in their native range and to maintain a sustainable population of rhinos in human care.
“Every birth at The Wilds is significant, but this one is particularly special to us. With each new generation of Rhinos born, it is a testament to the success of the breeding program at The Wilds but more importantly a success for this species as a whole. The Wilds is proud to be a part of the conservation initiatives ensuring the survival of this species,” said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds.
The White Rhino population had dwindled to perhaps only 50-200 at the beginning of the 20th century, but through conservation efforts, the population of White Rhinos in their native African range has rebounded to about 20,400 animals. However, even with the increase in numbers, the species remains classified as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All five remaining Rhino species in Africa and Asia (White Rhinoceros, Black Rhinoceros, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, and Sumatran Rhinoceros) are persecuted by poachers who sell the horns for ornamental or traditional medicinal purposes, even though there are no scientifically proven health benefits for its use. The horns are made of keratin—the same substance that makes up fingernails and hair. The International Rhino Foundation, which receives support from The Wilds, estimates that one Rhino is killed every eight hours for its horn.
The Southern White Rhinoceros or Southern Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) is one of the two subspecies of the White Rhinoceros (the other being the Northern White Rhinoceros). It is the most common and widespread subspecies of Rhino.
White Rhino calves are born after a gestation of 16 months and they can grow to be 4,000 pounds and six feet tall at their shoulder. Their natural habitats are plains or woodlands, interspersed with grassy openings. Through reintroduction efforts, their current range in the wild is in southern and eastern African countries.
Their physical characteristics are two pointed horns and a wide mouth suitable for grazing. The name White Rhinoceros originated from the Afrikaans word describing the animal’s mouth: wyd, meaning “wide.” Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the word wyd for “white.”
To further protect the future of Rhinos, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo has provided more than $196,000 in the last five years in support of conservation projects benefiting Rhinos in their native ranges, such as monitoring Black and White Rhinos in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region through the International Rhino Foundation and protecting Black Rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya through the African Wildlife Foundation.
After spending months tucked away with their mother, two Cheetah cubs born at Basel Zoo can now be seen by zoo visitors. The cubs have been named Opuwo and Onysha.
Born on July 18 to first-time mother Novi and father Gazembe, the cubs’ birth is the result of careful planning and strategy by the zoo staff.
Cheetahs are solitary animals and will only tolerate having a partner nearby during mating season. To encourage breeding, male and female Cheetahs take turns living several enclosures behind the scenes. This allows each Cat to become familiar with a potential mate’s scent, which may encourage breeding.
If a female Cheetah shows interest in a male Cheetah, the zoo keeper must place them together immediately and hope that sparks fly. So far, this strategy has been successful for Basel Zoo with a total of 29 Cheetah cubs born there to date. The first Cheetahs arrived at Basel Zoo in 1936, but the first successful breeding occurred in 1993. Breeding Cheetahs remains a challenge for zoos. Of the more than 100 zoos holding Cheetahs in the EEP (European Endangered Species Programme), only around ten zoos had cubs this year.
It is typical for wild Cheetah mothers to move their newborns to new hiding places, so the family’s move to the zoo’s outdoor habitat on October 6 aligns with this instinct.
Cheetahs are classed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. According to an estimate by the IUCN, there were only 7,500 Cheetahs in all of Africa in 2008. This number is now thought to have dropped to 5,000.
See more photos of the Cheetah cubs below.
The tiny male was born on August 27 to mom Cai, age 10, and dad Ian, age six. Both parents are caring for their baby behind the scenes. The zoo staff says it will be a few more weeks before the family returns to their exhibit habitat.
All of the baby Otter names submitted through October 20 will be reviewed by the zoo staff. The top four names will be selected and announced on the zoo’s Facebook page for a final vote from October 20 through November 3. The zoo plans to announce the winner on November 10.
Asian Small-clawed Otters live in wetlands and mangrove swamps in Southeast Asia, where they feed on Crustaceans and Mollusks. Every aspect of the Otter’s body is designed for efficient swimming, including the long, torpedo-shaped body, muscular tail, flattened head, and webbed feet. These Otters are the smallest of the world’s 13 Otter species.
Due to habitat degradation, illegal hunting, and pollution of waterways, Asian Small-clawed Otters are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The Kansas City Zoo, along with other accredited North American zoos, participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to breed rare species and maintain a high level of genetic diversity in populations under human care.
On July 21, two Binturongs at Tierpark Berlin became proud parents. Vincent and Fiona welcomed four offspring when sixteen-year-old Fiona gave birth to two females and two males.
The four fluffy siblings have been tucked away with their mother since their birth, but on September 28 they received their first veterinarian exam and vaccinations. Visitors to the park can now see the curious quad exploring their outdoor exhibit.
"The special thing about this litter is that almost all the young animals look the same", explained park curator, Christian Kern. "Only one has a slightly lighter head. Usually, [Binturongs] siblings are quite different in the facial and skin coloring."
The Binturong (Arctictis binturong), also known as a Bearcat, is a viverrid that is native to South and Southeast Asia.
Binturongs are omnivorous, feeding on small mammals, birds, fish, earthworms, insects and fruits.
The estrous period of the Binturong is 81 days, with a gestation of 91 days. The average age of sexual maturation is 30.4 months for females and 27.7 months for males. The binturong is one of approximately 100 species of mammal believed by many experts to be capable of embryonic diapause, or delayed implantation, which allows the female of the species to time parturition to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. Typical litters consist of two offspring, but up to six may occur.
It is uncommon in much of its range, and has been assessed and classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List due to a declining population trend that is estimated at more than 30% over the last three decades. The main threat to the species is severe destruction of habitats in their native parts of the world.
The EAZA has established a conservation breeding program for Binturongs, including Tierpark Berlin’s animals. Tierpark Berlin supports the organization ABConservation, which specializes in the protection of the Binturongs, at its Bearcat Study Program on Palawan Island in the Philippines.
"Binturongs are kept in a comparatively large number of European zoos, but their breeding does not work regularly. The pairs must harmonize well in order to reproduce. It is therefore all the more pleasing that our Berlin couple have regularly been up-and-coming since 2003," said Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr. Andreas Knieriem.
Currently, the Binturong at Tierpark Berlin are the only ones in Germany. The four siblings are also currently yet-to-be-named.