2018 in Review: New to the Zoo
It was an exciting year of welcoming new species and new babies to the Zoo. From adorable rhino calves to a growing gorilla troop, we welcomed many new faces in 2018. Here are some of our favorites.
Lulu & Nia
EASTERN BLACK RHINOCEROS: BORN FEBRUARY & AUGUST
In February, the Zoo welcomed an adorable Eastern black rhinoceros calf. Lulu, as she came to be called, spent a lot of the exceptionally cold Cleveland 2018 spring inside bonding with mom Kibibbi. But by summer she was having fun exploring her yard.
Lulu is the sixth Eastern black rhino calf born at the Zoo, and the second calf born to Kibibbi. Kibibbi has proved to be an able but protective mom.
On August 20, the Zoo welcomed the second black rhino calf born in 2018! Mom Inge, a 25-year-old Eastern black rhinoceros, gave birth to the calf on August 20. The new calf, named Nia, joins mom Inge, dad Forrest, aunt Kibibbi and older calf Lulu.
Speaking of rhinos, did you know that Inge is incredibly important to the black rhino population in AZA zoos? Inge and her two generations of offspring total 14% of Eastern black rhinos in AZA zoos! Click here to read more.
White-backed vulture chick
WHITE-BACKED VULTURE CHICK: HATCHED FEBRUARY 24
As part of a multi-year effort, Animal Care staff at the Zoo hatched a critically endangered male white-backed vulture in early 2018. Your Zoo is one of three zoos to have hatched these birds and there are only 11 individuals in North American zoos! Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has been participating in the white-backed vulture breeding program for more than 20 years.
These chicks grow fast and you'll have trouble telling him apart from his dad. The vultures are spending the winter inside the Africa barn, but you'll be able to see them in the spring when the weather gets warmer.
Omid, Zara & Bodhi
SNOW LEOPARDS: BORN APRIL
The fuzzy trio was born at the Primate, Cats & Aquatics building just a few months before the opening of their new home in Asian Highlands. This winter look for them to be jumping, climbing and tumbling in the cub yard with mom Sombra.
CLOUDED LEOPARD: ARRIVED IN APRIL
The energetic young leopard can often be found up high in his RainForest habitat.
Clouded leopards are arboreal cats, meaning they spend most of their day in trees in tropical forests. Their bodies are made for life up high. They have short, powerful legs for climbing and long tails for balancing on tree limbs and branches. Even their ankles help them climb: Their rear ankles rotate, which allows them to walk down the trunk of a tree forward, much like a common squirrel. They've even been spotted hanging from branches by those rear feet. So be sure to look up when you visit The RainForest this winter.
WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLA: ARRIVED IN APRIL
The youngest of the Zoo’s growing gorilla troop, 19-year-old Nneka came from San Francisco Zoo just in time for the May opening of the expanded outdoor gorilla yard at Primate, Cats & Aquatics building. Nneka joins two other females – Fredrika and Kebi – and male silverback Mokolo.
Thor, Pac-Man & Doc
TAKIN: ARRIVED IN JUNE
The mythical looking goat-antelope species is new to Cleveland, and the three male individuals at Asian Highlands are expected to be active and outside during the winter months. Takin are native to the Himalayan region, so cold weather is welcome!
Check out a blog from 2017 about the plans behind bringing takin to the Zoo.
PERSIAN ONAGER: BORN JULY 8
Duhncan, a male Persian onager, was born in mid-2018 to mom Dorri. Dad, Cody, had spent some time at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo as part of a collaborative breeding effort with The Wilds in Southern Ohio.
Your Zoo is one of only three AZA zoos to house these endangered Persian onagers.
Roy and Takaro
KEA: ARRIVED IN SEPTEMBER
Roy and Takaro, two male kea, came to the Zoo from an aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kea are one of the few, if not only, mountain parrot species from New Zealand. They're very cold tolerant, which is a great fit for our Cleveland weather. Kea are very intelligent - check out this video from National Geographic showcasing a kea!
The 8-year-old males can be seen almost all year long in Australian Adventure near the Reinberger Homestead.
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