Thursday, August 25
Babies, babies everywhere! Babies are here and babies are coming. The spring and summer months are always filled with new life in the animal kingdom, and the animals at Zoo Atlanta are no exception. We have new additions to our Zoo Atlanta family popping up everywhere!
From flamingo chicks, to snake hatchlings, from expectant pandas to baby monkeys, we hear the pitter patter (or slithering) of little animals all day. Some you may not even have realized are there. At Zoo Atlanta, we participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan®(SSP). SSPs help to protect the genetic diversity of animals in AZA zoos so that we can protect them from extinction for many years to come.
Some of our new little ones are actually members of endangered and even critically endangered species. Our Herpetology Team has welcomed Louisiana pine snake hatchlings; this species is considered one of the rarest snake species in the U.S. Our Bird Team has successfully hatched Bali mynahs, which are some of the rarest birds in the world! My department, Program Animals, is expecting a baby long-tailed chinchilla, a critically endangered rodent from South America.
So as you can see, keepers have their hands full making sure every baby has what it needs to start life at Zoo Atlanta. In Program Animals, we have made a “chinchilla maternity ward” for our hopefully two expectant mothers. Even though the first possible due date wasn’t until August 22, we have had everything prepped and ready to go for birth for weeks. We are also prepping for the arrival of two adorable baby opossums who were rescued from the wild when their mother unfortunately passed. They are currently living with a very capable member of our Veterinary Team until they are old enough to eat solid food on their own. We also may be expecting a baby armadillo from our famous Violetta and Finnegan pair. And last, but most certainly not least, we have welcomed dozens of everyone’s favorite Madagascar hissing cockroaches!
While many of our babies around the Zoo will go off to other zoos when they are older to have babies of their own, we will always remember that they were Zoo Atlanta born (or hatched) and loved by the entire Zoo Atlanta community.
Keeper II, Program Animals