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Category: Animal News

Nashville Zoo Welcome First Blue-Billed Curassow Chick

The survivability of blue-billed curassows just increased. Nashville Zoo avian staff welcomed its first curassow chick on May 5. After incubating the egg for 30 days, the chick was assisted in hatching by Nashville Zoo keepers and veterinary staff.  Nashville Zoo keepers had to assist the hatching of this chick because the chick was slightly inactive during the second day after its initial pip in the shell membrane. After keepers noticed the shell membrane was dry instead of wet,... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo

Female Clouded Leopard Cub Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a female clouded leopard,  Neofelis nebulosa , on Monday, February 19. This is the sixth litter for eight-year-old parents Lom Choy, mother, and Luk, father. The couple have been paired for mating since they were one year old and have been having litters since 2011. Their newest cub weighed about 188 grams at birth. With the addition of this cub, the Zoo is now home to nine clouded leopards. Nashville Zoo has had 32 clouded leopards born... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Baird's Tapir Calf Born at Nashville Zoo on March 7

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a male Baird’s tapir calf on Wednesday, March 7. Juju, the mother, gave birth at 12:53 a.m.  This is the second calf for four-year-old Juju and weighs about 22.8 lbs. The father Romeo passed away last year. Romeo was also the father of Tybalt, our male tapir, who was born in August 2016. With the addition of this calf, the Zoo is now home to three Baird’s tapirs. Four Baird’s tapirs have been born at Nashville Zoo since... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, March 9, 2018

UPDATED: Saddle-billed stork eggs not viable, the saga continues

The typical incubation for saddle-billed stork eggs averages about 31 days. We gave our saddle-billed storks an extra week of incubating beyond their due date before deciding to remove the eggs from the nest. This was done to ensure that they were not delayed in their development causing them to hatch later than expected. Earlier this week keeper staff finally removed the overdue eggs from the nest. The parents were not pleased at first, but quickly adjusted to the freedom of no longer needing... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, January 22, 2018

Niran, Clouded Leopard Determined to be Female

Nashville Zoo recently discovered an awkward surprise. Niran, the first clouded leopard to be born from an artificial insemination procedure using frozen/thawed semen was examined thoroughly at birth and determined to be a male. Only, he is actually a she.  The discovery was made after keepers noticed that Niran was not developing at the same pace as Kuso, a male clouded leopard of the same age. Kuso was brought to the Zoo in May to be a playmate for Niran. The two have... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Thursday, December 21, 2017

How our Animals Reacted to the Solar Eclipse

More than 7,000 guests came to the Zoo to witness The Great American Solar eclipse. Many also helped us observe our animals and record their reactions during that brief period of totality (when the moon completely covers the sun leaving only a ring of light).  There were several behaviors that were expected and some that were a surprise. Perhaps our biggest surprise was the amount of cheering, shouting and screaming coming from our guests who were overwhelmed... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Thursday, August 24, 2017

Red Ruffed Lemur Family Now on Exhibit at Nashville Zoo

(Blog update on July 25, 2017) Guests visiting Nashville Zoo can now see the four red ruffed lemur babies born on May 30, 2017. The two month old lemurs have joined their parents Lyra and Dino and three older siblings on exhibit along Bamboo Trail. “The four babies are hopping around and playing with each other a lot as they explore and climb in their exhibit, said Sabrina Barnes, Primate Area Supervisor. “Thalia and Calliope, the one-year-old sisters, have really started... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, July 24, 2017

Do Animals Behave Differently when Experiencing a Solar Eclipse?

The total solar eclipse taking place on August 21, 2017 is creating a lot of excitement here in Nashville. At the Zoo, our animals are (we believe) completely unaware of the impending astronomical event. We are zoology professionals and enthusiasts, and we are very curious to see how our animal collection will react to a false dusk, night, and dawn taking place over the course of a few hours in the middle of the day. So on August 21, we will be watching our animals, and we invite you to come... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, July 7, 2017

Two Red Pandas Born June 16

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of two red pandas on June 16. The cubs are doing well and bonding with their mother, Mei Mei, in their off exhibit den. “This is the second red panda birth at Nashville Zoo, and the first litter for first time mom, Mei Mei,” said Jennifer Wu, carnivore keeper. “We were able to track Mei Mei’s pregnancy progress because she allowed keepers to conduct ultrasounds during her regular training sessions. This helped the animal... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Behind-the-scenes: Rhinoceros Hornbill Breeding

(Breeding Update: July 2017) Nashville Zoo is excited to give you a sneak peek into the unqiue breeding and nesting habits of our rhinoceros hornbills via our live Nest Cam.  Inside our breeding rhinoceros hornbills' building is an old Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel with three birds. The 37 year old female has been inside since April 12th, and her two chicks are just over a month old, about 5 days apart. They will not be out of the barrel until mid-August. The Nashville... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, June 30, 2017

It's Spawning Season for Zoo's Koi Fish

One of the Zoo’s most beautiful exhibits is one that most guests don’t notice on initial glance. The Zoo is home to a group of stunning koi fish that swim among the ponds that weave throughout Bamboo Trail. Known for their beautiful markings and calm demeanor, koi fish typically get along very well with little to no competitiveness or aggression toward each other. However, over the last few weeks, our group of koi were making it a little bit harder to go unnoticed with swift... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, June 2, 2017

Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon Celebrates First Birthday!

Makaio, the first white-cheeked gibbon to be born at Nashville Zoo, celebrated his first birthday on June 5. Guests have been able to see the young ape explore his outdoor area as he slowly learns how to be more independent. Our primate keepers shared Makaio’s progress and development from his first year! DEVELOPMENT He is still very dependent on mom, Singwah, as she is his main source of nutrition. White-cheeked gibbons nurse until they’re two years old! Makaio still clings... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, June 2, 2017

Zoo's Vet Team Learns New and Natural Healing Techniques

What do Lucy the antelope, Otto the sheep, and Boone the steer have in common? They all donated blood to help one very special patient! But these were not typical blood donations. Edith, the sloth star of our Aviary, recently developed a severe corneal ulcer on her left eye. Zoo Staff weren’t sure about the cause, but it definitely required intensive treatment. Along with antibiotic eye drops, a veterinary ophthalmology specialist suggested treating her with a very unusual medicine. ... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, April 17, 2017

Fifth Masai Giraffe Born at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of a male Masai giraffe. The calf was born February 10, weighing 163 lbs. and standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Mother, Margarita and calf are doing well and are currently off exhibit in the Zoo’s giraffe barn. This is Margarita’s fifth calf and second male to be born at the Zoo. “Margarita is a proven and successful mom for her calves, and this calf was no exception,” said Greg Peccie, Director of Animal Operations.... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, February 17, 2017

Spectacled Bear, Luka, Celebrates 4th Birthday

Nashville Zoo’s first Andean bear, Luka, celebrated her 4 th birthday on January 3 rd with a Frozen themed birthday party. This is Luka’s second birthday at Nashville Zoo since arriving in June 2015 from Phoenix Zoo. The birthday party included Luka’s favorite enrichment items - large tubs, cardboard castles covered in different herbs and spices, a snow machine (using Dawn dish soap), bubbles and a birthday "cake" made of specialty bear biscuits soaked in... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Zoo Vet Team's Latest Surgery Makes a Splash!

Zoo veterinarians conduct routine procedures on a wide array of exotic animals. While it's common to perform surgery on a big cat, repair the shell of a turtle , or conduct ultrasounds on a tapir , our team encounters some patients that are not so ordinary. Recently, our vet team conducted surgery on a most unusual patient– a three-foot long fish! Keepers noticed a growth under the jaw of one of the oldest fish in the River Tanks at our Unseen New World exhibit. This black... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, January 2, 2017

ZOO BABY: Baird's Tapir Born August 28

Nashville Zoo is happy to announce the August 28th birth of a male Baird’s tapir. This is the first birth for mom Juliet and her mate Romeo, who came to Nashville Zoo from Central America in 2008 to introduce a new genetic line into the United States tapir population. The animal care team had been closely observing the first time mom for several weeks as she prepared to welcome her first baby. New camera systems were installed in the tapir birthing stall so vet staff and keepers could... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ZOO BABY: New Face on Gibbon Islands

Baby Gibbon has a Name! Thanks to your overwhelming response to our baby gibbon naming contest, the Zoo will be donating over $1100 to Fauna and Flora International. Makaio was the winning name with $274 in donations (Makoto placed second with $176 and Mingli was third with $106 in donations). Thank you to everyone who generously donated and shared the contest with their friends!  Public Debut & Naming Contest A male white-cheeked gibbon was born on June 5. The family group... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, July 4, 2016

New on Exhibit: Two-Toed Sloths

Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the addition of two-toed sloths to its animal collection. Guests can see the mother, Edith, and her son, Emmett, in the Aviary inside Unseen New World. “We’re happy to add this mom and youngster duo to the Unseen New World Aviary,” said Joe deGraauw, the Zoo’s Avian Curator. “The temperature and humidity requirements for this species makes them a perfect fit in the Aviary which also offers a naturalistic canopy and vine... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Thursday, June 30, 2016

Who's Who in the Aviary

Walking into the Aviary inside Unseen New World a few things are obvious: the constant 76 degree temperature, tall trees, rushing water, and noisy birds.  However, it is easy to walk in and out without getting the full experience.  Use this guide to make sure you don’t miss the diversity of animals in this exhibit! What to look for There are currently 11 species of birds from Central and South America and Africa along with four turtles, and six anole lizards. Some... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, June 13, 2016

CUTE ALERT: Three Red Ruffed Lemur Babies Born at Nashville Zoo

Update - Red ruffed lemur family goes back on exhibit!  Zoo guests now have the chance to meet the three young red ruffed lemurs born on May 24, 2016. Parents, Lyra and Dino, can be seen back on exhibit with their three babies. The four month old trio excitedly jumped through trees and played among the ropes as they explored their outdoor home. As of now, guests can see the lemur family on exhibit for part of the day. Once keepers feel comfortable and the lemurs have adapted... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cassowary Introductions: Sy meets Marge!

The Nashville Zoo bird department anxiously anticipated and planned the introduction of our adult female and male Double Wattled Cassowaries. In 2011 the Zoo acquired a young male, Sy, and the female, Marge, arrived at the end of 2014. Over the last year these birds have grown up in adjoining exhibits allowing them to familiarize themselves with each other in hopes that they would become a breeding pair. Double Wattled Cassowary Breeding Double Wattled Cassowary are typically solitary... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring Births at the Zoo!

TWO FEMALE PALAWAN BINTURONGS BORN MARCH 7 Our second pair of Palawan binturongs finally had their cubs in early March! This is the second set of pups born here at Nashville Zoo and we are the only AZA accredited zoo breeding this species. We currently have a total of 7 Palawan binturongs in our collection: two mating pairs, a male who is part of our  Ambassador Animal program and these two pups. While one of the sister pups has already been picked up by Columbus Zoo’s... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Behind-the-Scenes with the Zoo's Vet Team and Mrs. B

It’s not often that one gets the opportunity to observe a turtle spa day. Dr. Heather Robertson, DVM and her veterinarian team were kind enough to invite us to observe a behind-the-scenes shell treatment on one of the Zoo’s resident Spot-bellied Side-necked Turtles (Phrynops hilarii), Mrs. Beasley. This isn’t your average turtle shell procedure – in this specific case, it’s known as Mrs. Beasley’s spa day.  Mrs. Beasley has been a part of the... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Historic Hellbender Hatches

It may not look like much but this larval hellbender is the result of a decade of work by Nashville Zoo Ectotherm Curator Dale McGinnity and a team of experts. Additionally, this little salamander represents a giant step in the survival of amphibians around the world. First Hellbender Externally Fertilized with Cryopreserved Sperm On October 11, 2015, the Zoo was successful in hatching an eastern hellbender that was the result of an egg being artificially fertilized with cryopreserved... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Significant Births at Nashville Zoo

Two Male Palawan Binturongs Born November 7 Nashville Zoo is proud to announce the birth of two male Palawan binturongs born Nov. 7. The pair named Wilbur and Templeton were a very special addition as they are the first of their subspecies to be born in the United States. The Palawan binturong ( Arctictis binturong whitei ) is a smaller subspecies of binturong (also known as bearcat) only reaching around 40 pounds. While they aren’t considered endangered, they are... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, December 28, 2015

White Rhinos to Occupy Elephant Exhibit

Our African Elephant Savannah will become a home for a group of Southern white rhinoceros. The installation of this new species should be taking place in 2017 if modest renovations and animal acquisitions run according to plans. “We’ve been wanting to acquire white rhinos for some time,” said Zoo President Rick Schwartz. “The empty elephant exhibit gave use a great opportunity to move rhinos here and let the public see them long before we plan to open a permanent... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Monday, November 2, 2015

Meet Nasha, our newest Masai giraffe!

Nashville Zoo has a new giraffe named Nasha. She came to us in September from the Cincinnati Zoo and can be seen on exhibit along with our male Congo, adult female Margarita and 4-month old Enzi . Nasha was born at the Cincinnati Zoo on April 28, 2014 and gained immediate popularity due to a social media campaign that documented her birth . Nasha was chosen by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survial Plan to join Nashville’s herd, providing valuable genetic... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Giraffe Born at Nashville Zoo

Update - Meet Enzi! Thanks to your overwhelming response to our giraffe naming contest, we are sending over 700 pairs of used jeans to the Jeans for Giraffes conservation program. The winning name, Enzi, was the far and away winner with 407 Pairs (Mahali placed second with 188 pairs and Mkali came in last with 131). In other giraffe news, our reticulated giraffe Layla is leaving this month for her new home, and we are expecting the arrival of an adult female Masai giraffe around... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bird Updates

Bird Changes at Critter Encounters  If you’ve stopped by the bird area of Critter Encounters recently, you may have noticed some changes to our collection. The Zoo recently added a blue-billed curassow named Albert to the area. Blue-billed curassow’s are the rarest of their family and are one of the most endangered species of bird in the world. It is estimated that only around 250 individuals are left in small sections of forest in northern Columbia.  ... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Thursday, August 20, 2015

Komodo Dragon Update

Our Komodo Dragons are now on exhibit at Unseen New World. “Agnes and Tula are the same age and close in size, currently around seven lbs. each,” said Jon Rold, area supervisor of herpetology. “At their previous exhibit in Unseen New World, they were able to see and smell each other through the mesh barrier, so they had time to get used to the other’s presence. They are doing great at Critter Encounter and are learning new training to aid in feeding and management in... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Thursday, July 30, 2015

Introducing Our New Interactive Tortoise Exhibit

The Shell Station, our newest interactive exhibit featuring Sulcata tortoises, opens to the public this Saturday, July 4. “Nashville Zoo is thrilled to add another immersive experience that engages our visitors and connects them to the wild in a hands-on way,” said Rick Schwartz, Zoo president. “We thank Scott and Tracie Hamilton for funding this exhibit and adding another great educational opportunity for our guests.” The Shell Station features up to 24 Sulcata... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Friday, July 3, 2015

New Animal Updates – June 2015

New animals have arrived at several exhibits throughout the Zoo. Tapir Living up to his name, our Baird’s tapir Romeo has enjoyed getting to know a new female that has joined him on exhibit. Tapirs are broad, primitive creatures whose appearance has changed little in thousands of years. In recent years, zoos have focused on diversifying the captive population, so keepers are hopeful for a baby tapir in 2016. Springbok More springbok have been added to Africa... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Thursday, July 2, 2015

Clouded Leopard Cubs Go On Exhibit

UPDATE: Sip Saam and Natida, the Zoo’s clouded leopard cubs born in March, are making public appearances every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. through the end of September 2015. “It’s been several years since we have exhibited clouded leopard cubs, so I know the public is anxious to see them,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “At nearly four months old, Sip Saam and Natida enjoy exploring the habitat, climbing trees and... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Joeys of Summer

The baby boom at Kangaroo Kickabout is in full swing! Six joeys can now be seen at the exhibit exploring their surroundings and greeting guests. GET TO KNOW OUR CREW Buckley Just turned one on May 17 and likes to stay close to his mom, the very popular Ima. Ube's 2nd Joey Kangaroo mama, Ube's 2nd joey is now peeking out of the pouch. Bendigo 11 months old who likes to stay close to his mom Ura most of the time. Comet 10 months and also stays close... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ape Awareness Month: Why We Love Lesser Apes!

Why are small apes just as cool as great apes? Lesser apes refers only to size. Where great apes range from 85-lb. bonobos to 450-lb. gorillas, lesser apes range from 10 to 30 pounds. All ape species are long lived with average lifespans ranging from 30 to 50 years. Gibbons are the only apes that are monogamous. Pairs will sing daily duets with males and females synching their vocalizations to help reinforce their bond and claim territory as theirs. The throat sac of the siamang (a... Read More
Posted by Kelsey White at Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Giraffe Herd Updates

Big changes are coming to our giraffe herd!   Bahati as a calf Giraffe Calf Coming Soon Our animal care team is closely monitoring the fourth pregnancy for our Masai giraffe Margarita and expect a birth in summer. “Margarita is doing well and all seems to be progressing normally,” said Lanny Brown, mammal curator. “We are planning on an early July birth.”   Goodbye Bahati & Layla To make room for the new addition, we will... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Duikers' Zoo Debut

Nashville Zoo’s antelope collection continues to expand with the addition of yellow-backed duikers to an exhibit on Bamboo Trail. “Yellow-backed duikers are small antelopes native to the forests of central and west Africa,” said Lanny Brown, mammal curator. “There are around 60 yellow-backed duikers in North American zoos, so we are excited to give our visitors the chance to learn more about this rare and relatively unknown animal.” The two females, ages 3... Read More
Posted by Mary Brenna Corr at Tuesday, March 3, 2015

First Alpaca Born at the Zoo

We are pleased to announce the birth of an alpaca on Saturday, Dec. 13. The baby, a male named Bandit, is the first to be born at Nashville Zoo and can be seen at Critter Encounters. “Based on the mother’s weight gain, we had predicted the baby would be born in spring, so his arrival on a December Saturday morning was quite a surprise,” said Kacie Cummings, Contact Area Supervisor. “We are thrilled that baby Bandit is healthy and on exhibit with the rest of our... Read More
Posted by Kelsey White at Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Introducing Phayara, our red panda cub

Our new red panda cub has made her debut. Phayara, named by a public vote, can be seen on exhibit in the Zoo’s Bamboo Trail. “Since her birth on July 3, Phayara has been in her den growing into a healthy red panda cub and learning the skills needed to navigate her exhibit,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor. “Once she started regularly coming out of her nest box around mid-September, we monitored her to make sure that she was able to negotiate her surroundings and... Read More
Posted by Nashville Zoo at Wednesday, October 29, 2014