This is where you'll find the very latest on what's new at the Zoo! From baby updates to animals new to the Zoo - you'll find all the news here!
March 18, 2014
We have a new female Mexican gray wolf that we'd like you to meet on your next visit! She was introduced to the exhibit earlier this week, so she might still be a little shy. But before long she will be comfortable with her new home and explore even more!
Yoali is 3 years old and named after Yoali Eecati, the Aztec god of the night wind. Her name also transltate to "night" or "night spirit". She comes to the Sedgwick County Zoo from Zoológico "Los Coyotes" in Mexico City.
Giant Tail-less Whip Scorpions Hatched - March 2014
The giant tail-less whip scorpions have been busy laying and hatching eggs! This is a photo of the female holding the eggs on the bottom of her abdomen. As the babies hatch they start crawling onto her back.
The babies will stay on their mother's back until their first molt, which occurs approximately 11 days after they hatch. After their first molt they will disperse and begin taking care of themselves.
They will also remain this whitish-green color until their exoskeletons harden.
African Painted Dog Puppies Now Exploring Exhibit
First Hatchings of 2014 - Peruvian Thick-knees
These two Peruvian thick-knee chicks are the first birds to hatch in 2014! They are currently behind the scenes being hand reared by Keepers. When they are old enough the two will return to the Jungle.
Kaup's Caecilians Born
On December 12, 2013 eight Kaup’s caecilians were born on exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo during operating hours. The births are believed to be the first captive reproduction of this poorly known and virtually unstudied species.
The pinkish youngsters were born with large, sac-like gills which quickly detached from their bodies during the birthing process. Unlike the gills of other amphibians, the gills of Kaup’s caecilians are thought to serve a placenta-like function while in the mother’s body and are not used for respiration after birth.
Caecilians are by far the least familiar group of amphibians for zoo visitors. Ranging throughout the tropics of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, most caecilians are blind and live entirely underground. However, a few Amazonian species are aquatic, such as the Kaup’s caecilian.
Video of births below.
A New Face in the Crowd - Kigali
Kigali (pronounced “Key-gal-ee”) is the newest female Western Lowland Gorilla to call the Sedgwick County Zoo home. Kigali is nineteen years old and was born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. She can be distinguished from Kivu by her smaller size and darker hair. Since everything in Wichita is new for her, she can best be described as curious. Kigali enjoys interacting with keepers and happily participates in training sessions. She is also quite the looker and everyone has noticed. As the other boy gorillas see her, a few have become infatuated with her. Even going so far as to park themselves where they can see her clearly and not go where keepers need them to. Matt is not so fond of other boys looking at his ladies but we are confident that with time, everyone will adjust and things will go back to normal.
Matt, Kivu and Kigali will be kept on the indoor exhibit for the next several days to allow Kigali more time to become familiar with it. After that, we will go back to the normal routine of rotating the different gorilla groups through the exhibits.
Mkia Jibini, or MJ as we're calling her, is the newest member of our reticulated giraffe herd. She is just a little over 1 year old and can currently be seen in the African Veldt building. MJ will be officially joining the herd in the next few days, until then she is kept separate from the other giraffes for quarantine purposes.
African Painted Dog Puppies and Surrogate Mother Sparkles
On the evening of October 31 Mica, 4 year-old African painted dog, gave birth. At the time of the birth Mica showed normal maternal behaviors but did not appear to be producing milk. On the morning of November 1, the surviving puppies were removed for evaluation and supportive care while Mica was examined, under anesthesia, to verify that she was not producing milk.
Once it was determined that Mica was not producing milk the decision was made to remove the puppies from the nest box. Zoo Staff began round the clock care and initiated a call to animal shelters, humane society and dog rescues for a lactating domestic dog that was close to weaning her puppies that could be used as a surrogate. Surrogate domestic dogs have been used successfully by other AZA zoos to foster other wild canine species, including African painted dogs.
On Sunday, November 3 a surrogate was found and Sparkles, a pit bull, began her role as a surrogate mother to the the puppies. Sparkles has been a great surrogate mom! As a surrogate, Sparkles is providing a continual canine maternal presence that Zoo staff could not provide. This presence offers comfort and sustenance that the puppies need to thrive.We are so thankful for her great care and attentiveness with the pups.
We are hopeful that when they reach an age appropriate for socialization we will be able to successfully reintroduce the puppies to their parents. Until then the puppies will remain in veterinary intensive care.
Fun with Pumpkins!
When you visit in the fall it's not uncommon to see our animal friends snacking on, playing with or downright destroying pumpkins! So don't be surprised if you see remnants of a "pumpkin party" scattered in exhibits!
Natasha & Tsar's "Practice Run" - 9/17/2013
Milking Devon Male Calf: Born 8/28/2013
Kivu & Matt are Now Outside!
Natasha & Tsar's Baby Book: Amur Tiger Cubs Born 7/06/2013
Love at First Sight?
The next step in rhino introductions has begun!
Kivu arrived at the Sedgwick County Zoo in late May and has been learning the ropes and getting to know The Downing Gorilla Forest Zookeepers. Kivu is the first female lowland gorilla to call the Sedgwick County Zoo home!
Kivu likes to spend time nest building with hay or other items and drinking water from the hose. She also enjoys interacting with the Zookeepers during her training sessions.
Recently Kivu, 35, was introduced to her exhibit mate Matt, 20. She and Matt have been spending time in a behind-the-scenes area getting to know each other. Now it’s time for the pair to explore the public indoor space! Matt and Kivu can now be visited in The Downing Gorilla Forest Reserve building. The pair is still practicing coming-and-going from the behind-the-scenes areas, so guests might have to patient with their progress. Once these two become accustomed to this space, they will be introduced to the outdoor exhibit area!
The cubs continue to do well. They should be opening their eyes any day.
This video (recorded on 7/10/2013) isn't the highest quiality, we're still trying to work on getting things all figured out. More to come soon!
Male and female Amur tiger cubs born 7/6/2013.
A New Sounder Has Been Formed!
What’s a sounder? Well, it’s what a group of warthogs is called!
Idwal, a 2-year-old female warthog, has now joined our 3-year-old male, Al, in the Africa exhibit.
In this video, Al is the first warthog to be seen running and Idwal is close behind. When they aren’t running around with their other exhibit mates, two female slender-horned gazelle, they might be found in their favorite spots: a mud hole at the back of the exhibit or near the log closest to the zebra exhibit.
Though they have only been together a short time, Al doesn’t like to go anywhere without Idwal being close by.
Amur Tiger Cubs: Born 7/6/2013
We are excited to share that two Amur tiger cubs were born on July 6!
The cubs are believed to be a male and female and appear to be doing well. They will remain off exhibit with their mother, Talali, so it will be awhile before guests are able to see the cubs.
But don’t worry; we plan to post updates and tons of pictures here and on Facebook.
Splash of Color Added to North America
No these parrots aren't out of place; they really do belong in the North America area!
Did you know? The thick-billed parrot is one of only two parrot species whose original home range once included the United States. Until the early 20th century, its range extended as far north as Arizona and New Mexico. This species can now be found in the high-elevation forests of central Mexico. There are fewer than 2,500 individual birds in the global wild population.
Now you can see these beautiful birds in both the North America and the South America exhibits. These birds have really livened up the area with not only their color but their vocalizations too!
Chinese Hwamei Returns to Jungle
This chick was being hand reared in an off-exhibit area. It has now rejoined its parents and three other chicks in the Jungle.
This bird gets its name from distinctive markings around the bird's eye, hwamei means "painted brow" in Chinese.
Try to spot these beautiful little birds the next time you visit the Jungle.
Klyde is the newest resident of the African Veldt Building!
This big guy is 11 years old and weighs in at just over 3,400 pounds!
Being a rhino, he LOVES bananas, but also is a fan of apple flavored biscuits. It won’t be long before he will be welcoming guests for Rhino Meet & Greets, and you too can see how much he loves bananas!
Klyde is a very laidback rhino. The Zookeepers that work with him say that he is great at training and very easy to work with! He also seems to enjoy being sprayed with the hose and then rolling in the puddles.
Klyde traveled about 700 miles to make his new home at Sedgwick County Zoo. Traveling from the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio to Wichita is a long journey, even for us! During his journey, Klyde got a few bumps and scrapes along the way. But don’t worry he is being quite a trooper and is great about letting the Zookeepers clean and treat the scrapes.
Stop by on your next visit and give Klyde a warm welcome!
New Legs to Admire!
Welcome these cool invertebrates to the Jungle. These seven new arrivals are beauties!
Asian Giant Centipede
Centipedes are one of the fastest moving invertebrates.
Their body segmented and always has an odd number of segments, each with one pair of legs.
Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater
This is one of the largest spiders in the world.
They actively hunt for their dinner. Dinner can include insects, reptiles and even small birds!
Borneo Forest Scorpion
All scorpions deliver venom through the stinger.
Young are born live and climb onto the mother's back for a few weeks to stay protected.
Caribbean Dusky Scorpion
This scorpion is native to Central America, but can be found in southern Florida.
Being stung by this scorpion might hurt, but isn't exceptionally dangerous.
Giant Tail-less Whip Scorpion
This scorpion is an arachnid; however it only uses six of its limbs to walk.
The long pincer-like appendages on the front of the body are used to grasp insects and other prey.
They do not have venom or a stinger.
Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tarantula
This is a tree dwelling spider that lives in holes high in the trees.
This spider is considered critically endangered due to habitat destruction.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
This cockroach can produce a loud hissing sound.
They prefer to lie in leaf litter, logs and bark along the forest floor.
Armenian Vipers Now on Exhibit
These venomous snakes prefer patches of rocky habitat high in the mountains. These vipers are listed as a threatened species due to overgrazing of its habitat by livestock.
The Armenian vipers will be on exhibit for a limited time this summer. They usually hibernate for six months or longer, so before too long it will be time for them to go back behind the scenes.
Eastern White Pelican is Growing Up!
A Horticulture New Arrival: Profusion Zinnias Thriving At Zoo Entrance
These babies started out in the Zoo greenhouse from plugs and were fertilized, pinched and grown specifically for a great splash of orange color out at Zoo Blvd entrance.
Profusion Zinnias are great plants for Kansas gardens and containers, they are drought tolerant, heat tolerant, and have few, if any bug issues. Profusion Zinnias grow to be approximately 18 inches tall by 18 inches wide. You can find them in cream, yellow and pink colors at your local nursery.
We'll post another picture as soon as they start to bloom!
Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs are Popping Up! 5/08/2013
We’ve noticed these cute little faces popping up all over the exhibit in the last week or so. The pups are pretty active in the morning and then again in the late afternoon.
Visit these little cuties in the North America exhibit!
Roseate Spoonbills and Puna Ibis Released on Exhibit - 4/30/2013
Though they aren't really new - it has been awhile since anyone has seen them!
Many of the animals of the Australia and South America exhibit have spent the long cold winter living in off-exhibit holding areas. The return of these birds to the outdoor exhibit marks another sure sign of spring! Over the next several weeks more bird species will join the puna ibis and roseate spoonbills, as well as many mammals and reptiles species in the South America and Australia exhibit.
Eastern Hellbender - On Exhibit 4/20/2013
This 2.5 year old hellbender has recently moved in with the mudpuppies in the Amphibian and Reptile Building!Hellbenders are a large, aquatic salamander that was once abundant in the rivers of the eastern United States. Though it has both lungs and gills, it absorbs much of its oxygen through its wrinkled skin.
Some of its favorite things to eat are earthworms, minnows, and crayfish.
More Children's Farms Babies!
These lovely ladies are the moms-to-be in the Asian Farms. Soon their babies will be joining the other lambs and kids that are already here! Help us welcome the most recent additions to the Children's Farms!