New at the Zoo - Page 3

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Conservation success story: Louisiana pine snake

The Zoo is pleased to announce another conservation success with the recent hatchings of 16 endangered Louisiana pine snakes. This snake is nonvenomous and spends 90 percent of its time underground in self-dug burrows or those made by other animals. This elusive snake can grow up to 7 feet in length. This species only breeds one time each year, during the spring. Although this snake lays the largest eggs of any North American snake, it produces the smallest number, usually only four or five in a... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two furry residents come to the Zoo

On your next visit to the Zoo’s education building, look for two furry mammals — short-tailed chinchillas. The short-tailed chinchilla is about 15 to 17 inches in length, including the tail. The female is typically larger than the male. This chinchilla has soft, thick fur with about 60 fine hairs growing from each follicle. The coat varies from pearl to light gray. The tail itself is about 5 to 6 inches long and is covered in coarse hair. The chinchilla’s thick fur helps to protect the animal... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Romeo, oh Romeo!

A handsome new resident can now be seen in the Asian elephant yard. Romeo is the newest elephant to join the herd. The 22-year-old bull arrived in June from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC) in Polk City, FL. Romeo takes the place of Casey, who also belongs to CEC and has returned to the facility in Florida. Romeo will roam in the various yards in the elephant exhibit and soon will be introduced to the female herd and eventually he will be part of... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Caribbean flamingo chicks hatch at the Zoo

In addition to the lesser flamingo chicks, 13 (and counting) Caribbean flamingo chicks hatched their way into the world this summer. These are the first Caribbean flamingo chicks for the Zoo in 2015 and the bird department has been successfully breeding Caribbean flamingos since 2005. In the wild, both parents help build a volcano-shaped nest where the female lays one egg; nests rarely contain two eggs and incubation lasts 28 days. Like the lesser flamingo chicks, these hatchlings are born with... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lesser flamingos hatch at the Zoo

The Zoo boasts the most successful lesser flamingo breeding facility in the world and is celebrating more success with the hatching of 19 chicks. Several of these chicks have been hand-reared by the Zoo’s bird staff, which includes feeding a customized formula of egg, smelt, shrimp, water and vitamin and mineral supplements, and daily walks to make sure they get necessary exercise and that their legs develop properly. The hatchlings are born with downy, gray feathers that they will keep... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Another conservation achievement for the Zoo

The Zoo is celebrating another exciting conservation achievement with the hatching of 550 Chiricahua leopard frog tadpoles this spring. The Fort Worth Zoo was the very first to successfully breed this threatened frog species in a captive, indoor environment. In 2012, thanks to the careful manipulation of environmental settings within the Museum of Living Art (MOLA), three females laid eggs naturally without the use of hormones.  Since that first successful hatching, the Zoo has bred... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Sunday, August 16, 2015

Eleven Roseate spoonbills hatched at the Zoo

The arrival of these brightly colored birds is nothing new for the Fort Worth Zoo; the bird department has been successfully breeding the roseate spoonbill since 1967, one of the longest-standing roseate spoonbill breeding programs in the world. The chicks are all hand-reared by bird staff and fed a specially customized formula made of egg, vitamins, minerals and other components of the bird’s natural diet. Roseate spoonbills were over-harvested to the extent that by 1890, all Texas... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Sunday, August 16, 2015

Spot-tailed earless lizards hatched!

It has been a successful year for the breeding of the Texas native spot-tailed earless lizard, specifically subspecies plateau earless lizards ( Holbrookia lacerata lacerate ) and southern earless lizards (Holbrookia lacerate subcaudalis). While not endangered, spot-tailed earless lizard populations have been declining in Texas since the 1970s and are only found in a small fraction of areas throughout their historic range. The greatest threat to the species’ survival is the use of... Read More
Posted by Avery Elander at Saturday, August 15, 2015

Baby elephant update: March 2015

Belle and Bowie have more than tripled in size since their births in 2013. At 1.5 years old, Belle is 1,612 pounds and 60 inches tall. Bowie is 1,300 pounds and 58 inches tall. As the calves continue to grow, Bowie will eventually pass Belle in height and weight. In 2014, Bowie began to show signs of tusk development, with ivory emerging through his gums. The calves will continue with their behavior training in their second year, and are expected to exhibit more independence from their mothers.... Read More
Posted by Katie Kreder at Monday, March 9, 2015

Burmese python arrives at MOLA

At 71 pounds and 13.5 feet long, the Burmese python is the Zoo's newest and biggest snake, recently arriving from Potter Park Zoo in Pennsylvania. The Burmese python is one of the largest snake species in the world. Although it is a nonvenomous species, it is a constrictor, known for tightly looping its body around prey and suffocating it before devouring it head first. You can see the Burmese python on exhibit inside MOLA. Read More
Posted by Katie Kreder at Monday, March 9, 2015