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!
Jamacian Iguanas Hatch: 8/7/2014
We are pleased to share that eight critically endangered Jamaican iguanas have hatched for the second year in a row! Congratulations to our Amphibians and Reptiles staff on these successful hatchings!
Jamaican iguanas (Cyclura collie) are a critically endangered species of lizard in the genus Cyclura. Animals in this genus are commonly referred to as rock iguanas. They get this name from inhabiting the dry, rocky, forested areas of the islands of the West Indies. While many people recognize green iguanas with their light coloration, high crests and elongate tails, most have never heard of Cyclura. Jamaican iguanas are smaller than green iguanas and have a drabber greenish gray coloration with muted blues on the crest and face. They were thought to be extinct for 50 years until a hunter’s dog caught one in 1990. These animals have a small population that still survives in the Hellshire Hills of Jamaica.
Young animals are being head-started at the Hope Zoo in Jamaica and released back into the wild when they are large enough to fend off one of their biggest threats, introduced mongoose. In the United States, we maintain assurance colonies at a handful of zoos around the country. The Sedgwick County Zoo is proud to be one of those zoos to work with this species.
These little ones are in an off exhibit area so you won't get to see them on your next visit. But we'll be sure to keep you posted with updates!
Indochinese Spitting Cobra Debuts: 7/16/2014
The staff at the Amphibian and Reptile building is excited to introduce an Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) to the Venomous Gallery!
The color and patterns of this snake vary greatly, but they are usually dark brown to black with speckles or bands of white. As their name would indicate, this species of cobra has the ability to spit their venom, a tactic they only use for defenses. They usually aim for the eyes of their attacker. The venom is harmless to skin, but can cause extreme pain and even blindness if it contacts the eyes. If spitting the venom fails, the cobra can still deliver a venomous bite.
Arapawa Island Goat Kids Born: June 2014
Just when you thought we wouldn't have anymore babies in the Children's Farms! Another round of goat kids were born the last few weeks in June. On your next visit stop by the American Barn to watch these youngsters play!
Sebastopol and Runner Duck Now in Asian Farm
The Children’s Farms are excited to introduce a flock of Sebastopol geese and runner ducks to the Asian Farm. These 9-week-old birds can now be seen exploring and swimming alongside the water buffalo! It is interesting to note that so far keepers have observed the two flocks swimming separately. So when one flock is swimming the other is exploring!
The Sebastopol is a goose that is easily identified by its feathers. The feathers of an adult are long, soft-quilled and curly. The feathers drape from its wings, body and tail. You can see that these 9-week-old goslings are just starting to show signs of their unique feathers. Breed Facts: Status:
The Runner, also known as Indian Runner, has a very slim body with a long neck. Some have described the adult duck as being a "wine-bottle with a head and legs”. Its head is slender with eyes set high, the bill is straight, and the legs are set far back on their bodies, resulting in the upright characteristic of the breed. Breed Facts: Status:
Buzz Worthy: Honeybees in New Hive at American Farm Barn
New honeybee exhibit in the American Farm Barn is sure to bee a hit on your next visit! You can watch these hardworking bees work, it's truly fascinating to watch and hear all the activity!
May 23, 2014
Boomer, Pawnee and the rest of us at the Zoo welcomed Windy to our herd! We are excited to partner with The Nature Conservancy to bring this bison to the Zoo. The 1 ½ year-old bison was born on Kansas' Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and donated to the Zoo by The Nature Conservancy in Kansas.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve’s bison herd is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. The herd started in 2009 with the introduction of 13 animals from Wind Cave National Park. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve herd now numbers 22 animals and serves as a satellite population for Wind Cave National Park. The Wind Cave herd is one of only two known public herds with no documented historic cattle interbreeding. Most bison herds have some evidence of the crossbreeding attempts with domestic cattle during the early 1900s in efforts to prevent the species from going extinct.
Visitors to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City can hike within the bison pasture, but are strongly advised to keep a sizable distance from the herd as bison are fast and agile – and potentially very dangerous. If hikers don’t wish to hike within the bison pasture, there are other trails available that still offer views of the bison.
Five Humboldt penguin chicks hatched in March. They are just now big enough to peek out of the nest boxes. It won't be long before they are waddling out and about with their parents and the rest of the colony!
May 1, 2014
Yoali (on top of the den box) met Cero for the first time on May 1, 2014. Introductions went very well and the two have been seen following and chasing after each other! Cero, 12, happens to be the brother of the three female wolves that just left for the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado. We are excited to have this pair of Mexican grey wolves as a part of our Zoo!
Children's Farms Babies! - April 2014
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.
Natasha & Tsar's "Practice Run" - 9/17/2013
Natasha & Tsar's Baby Book: Amur Tiger Cubs Born 7/06/2013
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.