San Diego Zoo Welcomes Adorable Koala and Rare Baby Lemur


The San Diego Zoo’s Australian Outback has a new resident – koala mom Cambee gave birth to an adorable little joey! She actually gave birth last November, but the little one only recently emerged from her mom’s pouch. Talk about a cute backpack. 🐨

san diego zoo koala

“It is always fun when we get to work with koala joeys and watch their personalities develop,” said Lacy Pearson, San Diego Zoo keeper. “At this age, she has not shown us her personality yet, but she is doing great, and has already started to eat eucalyptus leaves.”

The San Diego Zoo has the largest breeding colony of Queensland koalas and the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia. Zoo officials say the tiny baby koala just had her first check-up and doesn’t have a name yet, so stay tuned.

Can’t make it to the zoo to visit the koalas? No problem! Watch the koalas live here.

Fun Fact: Koala joeys eat their mother’s poop in order to obtain the bacteria koalas need in their gut to digest eucalyptus leaves.

Cambee’s joey isn’t the only cute baby at the San Diego Zoo right now… they are also looking after a little red ruffed lemur who currently tips the scale at 9.2 oz. Keepers named him Ony, which means river in Malagasy.

san diego lemur baby

Ony was born on May 18, 2016. This is the first baby for red ruffed lemur Morticia. Keepers are stoked because it has been 13 years since the last red ruffed lemur was born at the zoo.

These striking red and black creatures are among the largest in the lemur family – and also the loudest. Sadly, the IUCN Red List states that the red ruffed lemur is critically endangered. Logging, burning of habitat, cyclones, mining, hunting, and the illegal pet trade are primary threats. This is why every new birth is such an exciting event.

You can’t visit the lemurs at this time. You can look forward to seeing the red ruffed family, and the rest of the zoo’s amazing lemurs, when Africa Rocks opens in summer 2017.

Fun Fact: The San Diego Zoo has a successful history of breeding red ruffed lemurs; in fact, they’ve had over 100 born since 1965. They attribute this success to the Primate Propagation Center, a facility specifically designed for breeding lemurs.


Keeva the Baby Chimp Paired with Surrogate Mom for a Mother’s Day to Remember

KS NatureA baby female chimpanzee by the name of Keeva, born to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on March 12th, has been given the best Mother’s Day present – a new surrogate mom!

Once the Maryland Zoo realized Keeva’s birth mother couldn’t care for her, they teamed up with Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo to find a surrogate mother to raise her properly. You can view the big announcement on the Maryland Zoo’s website and Facebook page 🙂

IMAGE: Facebook - The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Baby Keeva (IMAGE: Facebook – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore)

The tiny primate was born at 2.6 pounds to first time mother ‘Carole,’ who has been with the chimp troop at the Maryland Zoo for 27 years. Unfortunately, Carole could not care for Keeva properly, and the Zoo was forced to make a tough decision.

“The birth seemed to be without complication and the baby appeared to be healthy,” stated Mike McClure, general curator at The Maryland Zoo. “However, it soon became apparent that Carole was not adapting to motherhood appropriately and we made the difficult decision to remove and hand-rear the baby while searching for a suitable home with a nurturing surrogate.”

Maryland Zoo staff felt it was important to familiarize Keeva with the sights, smells, and sounds of the troop. The infant spent several weeks in a behind-the-scences section of the Zoo’s Chimpanzee Forest, receiving round-the-clock care.

While Keeva was experiencing her first few weeks of life, the Zoo knew they needed to find her a surrogate. They worked with the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to find an adult female chimpanzee ready to take on the task. Luckily, they found an experienced surrogate named ‘Abby.’

“We know Abby has the instincts and skills to raise a baby chimp – she has been successful twice before,” noted Lee Ann Rottman, general curator of Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “We have every reason to believe that she will raise Keeva as her own, when given the opportunity.”

Keeva is now 5 pounds, can hold her head up, has started to speak, and is beginning to teethe! But, it will be 4-6 months before she is introduced to Abby. She will be integrated slowly, as chimpanzees live in complex social groups with a strict hierarchal structure. We wish her the best of luck.

Humans tend to have a soft spot when it comes to chimpanzees. This is most likely due to the fact that they are our closest relatives, sharing 98 percent of our genes! Sadly, these great apes are endangered and still threatened by poachers, disease, and habitat destruction.

Keeva the Baby Chimp Paired with Surrogate Mom for a Mother’s Day to Remember