WELCOME TO LINTON ZOO
Hadstock Road, Linton, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4NT. Telephone: 01223 891308
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LATEST NEWS FROM THE ZOO
3rd JULY 2019 - NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!
Say hello to Rosalie and Roselinde! These three year old Hartmann’s mountain zebra arrived with us from Planckendael Zoo in Belgium on 3rd July 2019.
Heidi, our 27 year old female born at Marwell Zoo, has taken the young girls under her wing, protecting them from the curious nature of Goya, our 23 year old female born in the Czech Republic. Both Goya and Heidi came to live with us in 2007.
13th APRIL 2019 - BINTURONG TWINS BORN
We are very proud to announce that Lulu and Toady became parents for the first time on 13th April 2019. Lulu has done a fantastic job raising the cubs who are entertaining visitors clambering all over their enclosure.
This large mammal from the forests of south-east Asia just has to be the original Gruffalo! The Binturong often walks on its hind legs like a bear and has many cat-like characteristics too, so it is also known as a bear cat, but that name is rather misleading since they are not related to either. It is actually a member of the same family as civets and genets; Viverridae.
Binturong are very strong climbers, watch how they use their prehensile tail to help them move quickly from branch to branch, even climbing upside down! The last time we had a breeding pair at Linton Zoo was in the 1980s.
11th APRIL 2019 - A VERY EXCITING BIRTH!
On 11th April 2019 a very rare white-collared lemur was born, the only birth in captivity this year!
The Critically Endangered white collared lemur is just one of over 94% of lemur species threatened with extinction, making lemurs the most endangered group of mammals on Earth. This baby is therefore extremely important for the European breeding programme, which we manage here at Linton, in helping to save this species from extinction.
2ND GENERATION CHICKS Marvine, a white-cheeked turaco who is a firm favourite with both visitors and staff, hatched two chicks earlier this year. The two youngsters are quickly developing a strong, entertaining character just like their mum, who hatched here herself in 2013. They love meeting new people who stop by their aviary and some lucky visitors taking part in our keeper experiences get the thrill of hand feeding.
ANOTHER WELCOME RETURN - BALI STARLING The Bali starling, Leucopsar rothschildi, is one of the rarest birds in the world. In 2001 there were only 6 individuals left in the wild, with conservation efforts in which zoos have been involved, this number had increased to around 50 on Bali. The biggest threats to this species are the loss of habitat and illegal trapping for the pet trade. It is the National bird of Bali and can only be found naturally in the Barat national park on the island of Bali where it is protected under armed guard. Our birds are part of the International breeding programme for this very rare and beautiful species.
A FACE ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE! We all love a cute baby and just look at this gorgeous hooded vulture chick which hatched here in April 2019. This is the second time our young pair have bred and according to records, to date only the 4th to hatch in zoos across Europe within the last 12 months. Hooded vultures are mostly silent birds and mated pairs are devoted to each other, roosting together outside the breeding season.
THE RETURN OF THE WHITE BACKED VULTURE
We’re delighted to have this wonderful species back at Linton. The last white backed vultures (Gyps africanus) we kept were loaned out to Colchester Zoo back in 2005. Numbers of white backed vultures in the wild have dropped 90% over just three generations (55 years).
Vultures provide an invaluable ‘clean-up’ service to the ecosystem, their unique digestive ability prevents the spread of disease and assists in the efficient decomposition of carrion. Without them disease would be rife and a boom in other scavengers would occur.
20th AUGUST 2016 - TAPIR CALF BORN!
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR BRAZILIAN TAPIRS!
On Saturday 20th August Tiana gave birth to a healthy male calf after a normal 13-month gestation. We are pleased to say that Tiana, Dad Thiago and new baby, a little boy, are all doing well.
As the calf was born during this years’ Olympics being held in Brazil, where this species is found in the wild, keepers are favouring the name Rio, but we’re open to suggestions….
16th AUGUST 2016 - MIRKO TURNS 18
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIRKO!!!
Mirko, photographed here by zoo visitor Jayne Eiffert, was born at Hamburg Zoo in 1998. The male Amur tiger is the largest cat in the world weighing up to 300kg! The Amur, or Siberian tiger is the largest of the 5 remaining sub-species of tiger. It’s thick coat is perfect for living in the cold forests of the Russian far-east. It is generally a solitary cat and each individual will have its own territory.
AUGUST 2016 - AZARA'S AGOUTI GO ON SHOW
Our Azara’s agouti have recently moved on show and are already proving extremely popular with our visitors. Our trio of adults came to us from Exmoor Zoo.
Azara's Agoutis are found in the rainforests and savannahs of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. They have an active, graceful gait which is either a trot or a series of springing movements, they are also good swimmers. If they are alarmed they will let out a bark.
These animals are sometimes known as "jungle gardeners", as they often bury nuts and seeds and forget where they put them, therefore helping new plants to grow. agoutis are the only animal with teeth strong enough to open the grapefruit-sized seed pods of the Brazil nut and are therefore crucial to the survival of the tree.
Pairs of agouti are usually monogamous (stay together for life) and females give birth to 1 or 2 young, after a pregnancy of around 3 months. Living up to 20 years in captivity. They have five toes on their front feet, but only three toes on their hind feet.
There is not enough data to be able to accurately assess their current conservation status, however it is known that population numbers are declining due mainly to habitat destruction and hunting, in some parts of their original range they have become extinct.
14th AUGUST 2016 - HEIDI TURNS 24 TODAY PROMPTING THE QUESTION
HOW DO YOU TELL OUR ZEBRA APART?
Just like you know your friends in a crowd, we can recognise individuals by slight differences such as colour tones, build, size, vocals, behaviour even profile if they are in the distance. All stripy and spotty creatures are uniquely patterned, just like our fingerprints, sometimes the differences can be quite subtle, have a look at the photo of our three Hartmann’s face on and you can see the difference in the stripes.
Hakim is easy to tell as he has a dark circular splodge on his chest with a stripe arrangement around it, the thicker lower white stripes across Heidi’s chest do not meet in the middle and appear chaotic and Goya has a wide white stripe that is continuous all the way from one side to the other.
In profile, Heidi is the tallest of the three zebra, usually on her own and she has a quieter temperament. Goya is shorter, stockier and a little bit barrel bellied, which almost gives her the appearance of being pregnant. Our very handsome Hakim is fine, muscular and obviously a stallion(!) he usually looks like he’s just been bathed and the difference between dark and light stripes is very vivid.
5th JULY 2016 - RIZIKI TURNS 13 YEARS OLD
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIZIKI!!!
Riziki was born at Woburn Safari Park and came to live with us here at Linton in 2003. He and his mate Karla have had many cubs over the years, their first born being Safina, who of course is still here with us currently living with her mate Zuri and two cubs born in September 2015.
3rd JULY 2016 - ZURI TURNS 10 YEARS OLD
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZURI!!!
Zuri was rejected by his mum at West Midlands Safari Park and came to us for hand rearing at just 4 weeks old. Now a grandfather himself many of his offspring can be seen in zoos across the UK and even in an educational wildlife reserve in Entebbe, Africa.
29th MAY 2016 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY HENRY!
Our male Mongoose lemur Henry turns 26 years old today.
At Linton we co-ordinate the European breeding programme for the Mongoose lemur and every single birth of this Critically Endangered lemur is especially important, as it provides a safeguard for the future of this very charismatic species. We are incredibly proud of Henry and his mate Maggie who have been one of the most prolific breeders in the programme.
14th MAY 2016 - WORLD BINTURONG DAY Raising awareness for these little known and understood mammals. Binturongs, also known as bear cats, are from South and South-East Asia. Related to the civet cat, Binturong are a member of the family Viverridae. They are currently classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN red list of threatened species because of a declining population trend that is estimated at more than 30% over the last three decades. The scientific name for Binturong is Arctictis binturong, Arctictis means ‘bear-weasel’.
APRIL 2016 - BACKCHATTING YOUR PARENTS
Anyone who spends time watching our lion family will see them playing for hours on end. Although some of this may look quite rough to us humans, it is all a very important process for the young cubs to go through, learning how to behave like a lion and to recognise their place in the pride.
However, bonding is just as important and between playtimes you can see just how close and loving this young family of lions are.
19th APRIL 2016 - KATINKA TURNS 10
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATINKA!!
Thanks to Lolly Watson for this lovely photo of our Amur tigress Katinka who was born here at Linton 10 years ago today to mum Deja and dad Mirko.
19th MARCH 2016 - 5 STARS AGAIN!
Congratulations go to our coffee shop team!
Following a recent routine but unannounced inspection by a South Cambridgeshire District Council environmental health officer, our “Five Star rating” has been maintained.
6th MARCH 2016 - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
We never need much encouragememt to share some cute photos so here's a few of our favourite mother and baby pictures submitted by zoo visitors over the past year.
Top left: Red kangaroo and joey by Caroline Mitchell
Bottom left: African lion Safina carrying cub by Sarah West
Top right: Laughing kookaburra and youngster by Bea Bellin Tani
Bottom right: Brazilian tapir Tiana with calf Tulio by Bea Bellin Tani
3rd MARCH 2016 - CUB UPDATE The African lion cubs born here on 30th September 2015 to mum Safina and dad Zuri are growing up so fast. The young female is full of mischief and loves exploring the paddock but is definitely a mummy's girl at heart, enjoying lots of attention whenever possibe. The male is a little more reserved, playing with his toys, copying his sister and parents, learning the very important lessons needed in how to be a lion.
Photos by Michelle Aylott
25th FEBRUARY 2016 - INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION
At Linton we love to inspire children through our educational talks and activities.There is no point in us doing the conservation work we do, if the next generation is not interested enough to take things forward for us, that is why environmental and conservation education is so important. Thank you Burton End Primary Academy, Haverhill, for bringing the children out to see us yesterday, our first school visit of the year.
Left: meeting a young Sulcata giant tortoise. Right: meeting Dennis the Sinaloan milksnake.
JANUARY 2016 - CHRISTMAS TREES GALORE!
POTTED, LIVING TREES ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!
We’ve had such a fantastic response to our Christmas Tree appeal, with over 200 trees already having been dropped off, that we are now only able to take live trees with roots which can be planted in aviaries, enclosures and around the grounds. The staff, lions and of course all of our other animals who enjoy the trees, would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support.
30th NOVEMBER 2015 - HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY SAFINA Our proud mummy is 10 years old today, Happy Birthday Safina!!! What a great reason to share one of our favourite photos of her when she was a cub.
Safina was the first born to mum and dad Karla and Riziki, due to their inexperience as parents they rejected Safina who had to be removed for hand-rearing to ensure she survived.
Riziki and Karla, who both turned 12 this year, still live with us here at Linton.
NOVEMBER 2015 - STAFF TRAINING Over the last few days’ staff have completed a refresher First Aid course and received training on how to use our new defibrillator, kindly donated to us by the East of England Ambulance Service. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Anne Gilbert from Basic Life Support Consultancy and Paul Doe from the East of England Ambulance Service for making the training so enjoyable.
31st OCTOBER 2015 - HAPPY HALLOWEEN Happy Halloween from the team at Linton Zoo who were all getting in the spirit of things today!
30th SEPTEMBER 2015 - THE CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG!
We’re delighted to announce that in the early hours of the 30th September Safina, our younger African lioness, gave birth to two gorgeous cubs.
Both Safina and dad Zuri are being the purrfect parents and the cubs, a boy and a girl, are doing very well.
It will be some weeks before the twins start to venture out on their own from the security of their off show bedroom. However, some lucky visitors have already caught a glimpse, as Safi will occasionally take one with her, carefully carrying it in her mouth, as she goes to stretch her legs outside.
So are you ready for a super overdose of cuteness!!!!!
AUGUST 2015 - NEW SPECIES GOES ON SHOW Our super cute Dwarf Mongoose have completed their quarantine and have now moved out onto the zoo. Our lions represent the largest carnivorous African mammal and these are the smallest! Just like their close relative the Meerkat, their mischievous antics are definitely commanding a lot of attention from visitors.
16th AUGUST 2015 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIRKO!
Join us in wishing our boy Mirko a Happy 17th Birthday, here he is chilling out enjoying the sunshine in true tiger fashion this morning! Mirko was born at Hamburg Zoo and arrived here in July 2000.
The Amur, or Siberian tiger is the largest of the 5 remaining sub-species of tiger. It’s thick coat is perfect for living in the cold forests of the Russian far-east. It is generally a solitary cat and each individual will have its own territory.
10th AUGUST 2015 - HAPPY WORLD LION DAY!!!
Although there doesn’t seem much to celebrate as this majestic species makes its way towards silent extinction. With the recent trophy hunting of Cecil hitting the headlines recently, we’re hoping that some good can come out of the killing of this lion for sport, raising awareness of the need to protect these legendary animals from the many threats they face.
At the current rate some experts believe that lions will be extinct by the year 2050, so we’re working closely with the Lion Guardians, a conservation organisation dedicated to finding and enacting long-term solutions for people and lions to coexist across Kenya and Tanzania. Lion Guardians currently train and support a team of more than 80 East Africans who are actively protecting lions covering approximately 5,500km² (1.3 million acres). Spare just a few minutes to watch this beautiful film explaining more about the fantastic work done by the Lion Guardians.
Through our conservation charity we’ve raised enough funds to pay the annual salary for three guardians, Mingati, Kisimir and Gisa for yet another year, but with your help we’d like to sponsor a forth, a young up and coming guardian called ‘Merin Saningo’! To celebrate World Lion Day 100% of funds raised through lion sponsorship here at the zoo during August will go towards this fantastic cause. To find out more about lion sponsorship please visit our website where you can also make a direct contribution using the donation link on our homepage.
9th MAY 2015 - IT’S THE WORLD’S FIRST BINTURONG DAY!!!
Linton zoo was one of the first zoos in Britain to keep and breed this little known and understood species that originates in Indonesia, South East Asia. Although the binturong is sometimes called a bearcat, it is not actually related either to bears or to cats, they are more closely related to civets and genets.
Binturong are classed as 'Vulnerable', numbers in the wild are declining steadily due to many threats including habitat destruction for logging, deforestation, and conversion of forests to non-forest land-uses. Captures for the pet trade and illegal hunting for food and skins also threaten this species.
23rd NOVEMBER 2014 - RAIN FLOODS THE MAIN ROAD
Being closed during the week for the winter season means that weekends are extremely important to us, unfortunately with all the constant rain yesterday it wasn’t a great day for us, or visitors to the zoo. The main road to the zoo was so flooded that the fire incident officer ordered it to be closed. Some of the zoo pathways became mini lakes with the constant downpour making it a challenge for those without wellies not to get their feet wet!
We woke up the next morning to find all the flood water had gone and a sharp frost had visited during the night, this caught us by surprise after all the rain, but we’re thankful our outdoor tropical plant species have all survived.
The sunny weather brought all the animals, including the Aldabran giant tortoises (Teddy of course being the first through the door!), back out to enjoy the sunshine.
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2014 - BOOKING.COM VOLUNTEER DAYS Booking.com your staff are brilliant!!! During October and November we had two teams from booking.com join us for a day of volunteering. Everyone go stuck straight in whether they were gardening, mucking out the zebra stables, poo picking, cleaning out the pond or simply raking leaves. We couldn't have wished for a better team and can't wait to see you back in the New Year!
25th OCTOBER 2014 - CLOCK CHANGE A big thanks to Huwi the Turkmenian Eagle Owl and Billy the Binturong for reminding us that the clock go back tonight!
4th OCTOBER 2014 - WORLD ANIMAL DAY As today is World Animal Day we wanted to celebrate one of our greatest achievements in wildlife conservation - the White Collared Lemur. Listed as critically endangered they now live in a tiny pocket of forest in Madagascar, Linton Zoo is the only place in the world breeding this lovely lemur and only Mulhouse Zoo in France also holds the species. We are working with teams out in Madagascar to help protect the remaining population in the wild. Critically Endangered is a classification give to a species whose next step is extinction in the wild! With only 15 individuals in just two zoos across Europe, every single birth is incredibly important to help safeguard the future of this very special lemur!
SEPTEMBER 2014 - NAME OUR BABY BUNNIES Through our Facebook page we ran a competition to name our two new gorgeous Giant Contiental Rabbits. Did you know a group of bunnies (often called a colony or herd) is also known as a ‘fluffle’? What a perfect way to describe our gorgeous babies who have now officially been named ‘Millie’ and ‘Mable’. These names were initially suggested by Rebecca Sorrell, so thank you Rebecca and thanks to all of you who voted.
In case you didn’t know… Mable has the meaning "lovable" and is a variant of Mabel (English): short form of Amabel (Latin).
SEPTEMBER 2014 - JAMES COMPLETES HIS APPRENTICESHIP Congratulations to James Welch, who has just completed an animal care apprenticeship with us and is pictured here receiving his certificate from Adrian Hudson of the College of Animal Welfare. We are very proud of James as he was also awarded the ‘Student of the Year’ award by the college and has now secured a full time trainee zoo keeper position with us. James has been visiting us since a very young age, chatting with all the keepers and taking part in as many keeper experiences as possible. It's safe to say that James is a lion fanatic, we all call him 'Lion Boy' and he spends most of his spare time around the zoo up watching the lions, he's even tried to grow his own mane!
6th SEPTEMBER 2014 - INTERNATIONAL VULTURE AWARENESS DAY
Today we pay tribute to a group of birds that are not always on everyone’s list of “must sees”. Vultures are scavengers, and mostly feed on the carcasses of dead animals which, along with their strange appearance mainly due to their bald heads, often leads to them being misunderstood giving conservationists involved in preserving their numbers an uphill battle in fund-raising efforts. However, as consumers of dead animals, vultures prevent the spreading of diseases such as anthrax and rabies and therefore fulfil a vital role in our ecosystem.
Vultures occur on all continents except Antarctica and Australia. 12 of the 16 species of Old World vultures (Europe, Asia and Africa) are now classified as endangered, including both species we hold here, the Rueppell’s Griffon Vulture (left) and the Hooded vulture (right)
Sadly the decline of this wonderful group of birds is largely due to humans, especially in Africa and now Asia. Carcasses of livestock killed by lions are laced with poison to kill the returning predators – placing vultures feeding on those same carcasses in harms way. The growing slaughter of elephants for their ivory increasingly involves poisoning elephant carcasses to keep swarms of vultures from circling overhead and giving the poachers’ location away.
25th AUGUST 2014 - ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE Linton Zoo takes the ice bucket challenge to help support the fight again motor neurone disease. We now nominated Shepreth Wildlife Park, Exmoor Zoo and Paradise Wildlife Park Guys you have 24 hours!!!
10th AUGUST 2014 - WORLD LION DAY A huge thank you to everyone for their support during our celebrations of World Lion Day belatedly held yesterday 16th August due to Hurricane Bertha, whose own activities decided to postpone our original plans!
Thanks to keeper James’ enthusiasm, many of our visitors are now much more educated about the plight of lions and we now have more funds to support the wonderful work of the Lion Guardians (shown right), a conservation organization dedicated to finding and enacting long-term solutions for people and lions to coexist across Kenya and Tanzania.
Dr Geoff Downton was the lucky raffle winner who won the opportunity to help feed our younger pair of African lions ‘Safina’ and ‘Zuri’.
3rd JULY 2014 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZURI - 8 TODAY! We all love a cute baby picture, so it’s a good excuse to share this photo of him at just four and half weeks old and of course the gorgeous adult he's turned into.
To celebrate Zuri’s Birthday we are paying the annual salary for the second year running of Lion Guardian Mingati Makarot If you would like to give Zuri Birthday money and help us raise funds to support more Lion Guardians, please go to the donate tab on our website. For more information about the Lion Guardians go to their website or Like their Facebook Page.
JUNE 2014 - EGGCELLENT NEWS - THE RESULTS ARE IN!! Modern technology allows DNA to be extracted and tested from the vascular material left on the inner surface of an egg shell. So we sent the egg shells from our two recently hatched Southern ground hornbills for DNA sexing. The older of the two chicks is a female, the younger a male. The youngsters grow at an alarming rate, pictured right at just 4 weeks old. The pair have now moved into our new hospital and quarantine facility opposite the cotton top tamarins. As Southern ground hornbills are one of the only birds known to play, they'll have a whale of a time running about with all the dead leaves we've raked up from around the zoo and placed in their for them to investigate.
JUNE 2014 - BEE ORCHIDS RETURN TO LINTON! We came across this stunning little Bee Orchid in one of our wild meadows recently. It’s been a while since we last saw one here, but conditions must have been very good for them this year as we found 6 flowering plants. To attract the pollinating bees, the plant has evolved bee-like flowers, the bees are naturally attracted to the flowers and fly in to attempt a mating. Sadly, the right species of bee doesn't occur in this country, so Bee Orchids self-pollinated here in the UK.
JUNE 2014 - ZURI AND SAFINA GET WORLD CUP FEVER Both Zuri and Safina, our younger pair of African lions, got the chance to make their prediction on the results for Englands football matches live on Sky Sports during the World Cup.
Safina and Zuri were both hand reared here at Linton Zoo and having grown up in the house watching it on TV they are both big football fans. Zuri even met Jamie Redknapp when he was just 4 weeks old.
Both lions picked England for the win, sadly the England team didn't keep up their end of the bargain!
3rd JUNE 2014 - SOUTHERN GROUND HORNBILL UPDATE - SECOND EGG HATCHES We’re delighted that the 2nd egg hatched on 3rd June and with the two chicks together you can see just how much the first has grown in only 5 days! Exhausted, finally out of the shell, chick number 2 takes a few seconds to rest.
In the wild only one chick normally survives, the largest chick takes priority of all the food presented and the second chick is usually eaten by the older sibling.
We’re keen to know whether the little ones are boys or girls and we’ll let you know when the results are in.
2nd JUNE 2014 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIANA! Tiana our female Brazilian Tapir turns 4 today and is obviously enjoying her lunchtime birthday treat a little bit too much to worry about posing for the camera! You can watch Tiana and her mate Thiago have their daily lunchtime meal at the keeper talk every day at 12.
The Brazilian Tapir is a large heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance. The tapir is in fact so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years. It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest where, because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has already become extinct in part of its range. Next time you visit take time to look at these strange creatures because, although shy, they become curious of quiet observers and will often come up to the fence to investigate their visitors.
28th - 29th MAY 2014 - CRACKING NEWS - WE'RE ALL EGGCITED!!! We are all so excited with the recent developments from our Southern ground hornbill eggs. The mother doesn’t have a very good track record of loving her babies, so when it seemed she had abandoned the nest we decided to remove the eggs to an incubator to give them a better chance. The first one started to hatch the morning of 28th May. 24 hours after it first popped its beak through the tough egg shell, the chick finally completed hatching. After numerous checks throughout the night, bleary eyed keepers managed to catch a series of photos showing the hatching in progress over the course of an hour and a half.
It takes tremendous energy for any hatchling to break out of its shell and even though this little one is in the safe environment of an incubator, the first few days are always a nail biting time for staff.
23rd MAY 2014 - HAPPY WORLD TURTLE DAY At Linton zoo we are very passionate about all chelonians and feel honoured to have some very interesting and exciting species in our care, as well as those we work with abroad. Last year, together with Emoor zoo, we committed to support a turtle conservation project in Yupukari Guyana, South America at a cost of £3,000. We chose this project as it is small and allowed all of the villagers to become involved in both the work needed to save their river turtle species and the project had high educational value too, and importantly we know that all of our grant will be wisely spent and go directly to the cause. These two (right) are hatclings (Podocnemis expandsa, left, Podonemis unifilis, right) from the river turtle head starting program.
7th MAY 2014 - SAFFRON WALDEN ROUND TABLE VISIT The Saffron Walden Round Table took a few hours out from their busy schedule of organising this years' carnival for a behind the scenes tour to hear more about the varied and important roles of our zoo.
more updates to follow...
JULY 2013 - STRIATED CARACARA Dodger, our charismatic striated caracara, was banned from our free flying bird sessions after helping himself to one too many things from ladies handbags! He has now moved into one of our on show aviaries and been introduced to a gorgeous young female named Eris. The Striated Caracara has the southern-most overall breeding range of any bird of prey in the world. This species is only found on islands where populations of seals or seabirds are present.The population in the Falklands is estimated at 500 breeding pairs.
JULY 2013 - INTRODUCING MARVINE.... Marvine (originally Marvin, but has since been feather sexed as female) is a white-cheeked turaco hatched here last year and hand-reared by keepers when she was abandoned by her parents.
Turacos are an amazing group of birds from equatorial Africa. Marvine is housed in an aviary near the Sulcata giant tortoises.
Next time you visit, please do stop by and give her some time, she is very inquisitive and gentle and is definitely a favourite for both keepers and visitors.
JULY 2013 - GIANT SULCATA TORTOISE HATCHLINGS Our giant sulcata tortoises have done us proud again this year, Kali laid 26 eggs on the 5th March and Zina laid 21 eggs on the 6th March. As the ground is too cold for natural incubation we have to dig up the eggs and place them in containers labelled with the lay date, before placing them in an incubator set at 30 degrees centigrade. Just 3 months later both clutches of eggs started to hatch. This hatchling’s (right) first few steps were caught on camera on 6th July 2013. We wonder what’s in store for this little fellow over the next 150 years!
JUNE 2013 - OBOE GETS HER GUY(S?!) Oboe is without a doubt one of the most popular animals at the zoo. In 1996 she was the first ever successfully bred southern ground hornbill in Europe and was hand-reared here by keepers. Being hand-reared she is very used to being around people and often delights visitors by running round her aviary gathering up leaves and twigs to offer as presents.
Southern ground hornbills live in groups of up to 8 individuals, although some females prefer a solitary life and will move away from the group to live on their own. Until recently, Oboe appeared to be one of these females, refusing any potential mate that was offered.
Then came Red and Beaky, two males from Colchester Zoo and Oboe took to the pair immediately, Red in particular. Now the grounds are filled with their synchronised calls, which sound like African drums, as the three birds flirt outrageously with each other.
JUNE 2013 - LOOK WHO'S OUT OF THE POUCH! Although the wallabies have been taking the spotlight in the kangaroo and wallaby paddock over the last few months with their rare albino joey, our adult female red kangaroo certainly hasn’t been taking it easy.
Matilda’s been raising this gorgeous little joey, who’s now fully out of the pouch, pictured (left) with mum ‘Tilly’ and big brother Sean, who was born last year.
The Kangaroo is the only large animal to hop rather than walk or run - using spring like stretchy elastic tendons rather than muscles it’s a great energy saver. When moving slowly, a Kangaroo ‘crawl-walks’, it supports itself on its tail and front legs then brings its hind feet forward.
23rd MAY 2013 - WORLD TURTLE DAY TO CELEBRATE WORLD TURTLE DAY we are launching a brand new VIP behind the scenes tortoise tour. Get up close and personal with our giants and go behind the scenes to see how we incubate the eggs and meet the latest hatchlings. Also together with Exmoor Zoo we are adopting our own special turtle conservation and education project in Guyana. Today we announce a new conservation partnership and pledge long term financial support to fund the “Yupukari River Turtle Conservation Project”. Money raised from the VIP tortoise tours will fund this project.
This is an exciting programme which was initiated by local people themselves and involves the entire village. We know our support and expertise will have a positive impact on not just the turtles, but many of the regions other native species too.
20th MAY 2013 - OOH BABY BABY BABY - IT'S TRIPLETS FOR OUR PORCUPINES! It seems like only yesterday we were announcing the birth of an African crested porcupine, but now with the newly named baby Hasa not even 6 months old, mum Halla gave birth to a trio of prickly little porcupettes.
Dad Henry, mum Halla and even older sibling Hasa have all been fantastic with the bristly little babies, who were making their own way outside before they were even one month old!
Porcupines are nocturnal being most active after dark. They spend most of the day sleeping, waking occasionally to eat.
12th MARCH 2013 - WHITE COLLARED LEMUR BIRTH This gorgeous little male White Collared Lemur was born on Tuesday 12th March to mum Harriet and dad Jeepster. With only 14 of this Critically Endangered species in Europe, every single birth is incredibly important to help safeguard the future of this very special lemur.
At Linton we run the breeding programme for the White Collared Lemur and with 10 of the 14 living here with us, Linton Zoo is the only place in the UK where you can see them.
The White Collared Lemur has recently been upgraded to Critically Endangered, so every single birth is incredibly important to help safeguard the future of this very special lemur.
FEBRUARY 2013 - RARE ALBINO RED NECKED WALLABY JOEY
On 8th February we saw the exciting new arrival pop its head out of the pouch for the first time, which was caught on camera by some lucky visitors. It was a total surprise for keepers and it is the first time an albino wallaby has been born at Linton Zoo.
Albino animals (including humans) lack pigment for colouring which means our little joey has pink eyes and will have white fur. Red Necked wallabies are usually grey-brown in colour, just like parents Kylie and Jason, aunty Dani and big brother Bonza but, on rare occasions, a white or albino is born, even after generations of normal coloured individuals.
We think our mob are probably descended from the original white wallabies given as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II whilst on a state visit to Australia in 1962.
JANUARY 2013 - PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION 2012 WINNING PHOTO
Congratulations to Martyn Garvey of Portsmouth who has won our 2012 photography competition with this stunning image of our mischievous Amur Tigress, Katinka.
Thanks go to everyone who entered the competition, there were many great photos and a gallery will soon be posted on the photography day page on our website.
Here Martyn receives a framed copy of his winning print from wildlife photographer Colin Edwards, along with an anual admission ticket to the zoo, a winning certificate and sponsorship of any of our animals (Martyn chose Centurio the Snow Leopard).
JANUARY 2013 - WELCOME THIAGO We recently welcomed Thiago, a 3 year old male Brazilian Tapir born at Paradise Wildlife Park, to join our three year old female Tiana. Tiana was the last female born to our old pair Tanya and Shannon who successfully raised 12 calves in their years with us.
Although the tapir looks like a cross between a pig and an elephant its closest relatives are horses, zebras and rhinos. Tapirs are as happy in water as on the forest floor and often forage along river bottoms.
They use water as an escape from predators such as jaguars using their long nose as a snorkle! Tapir are so well adapted to their rainforest environment that they have remained unchanged for about 30 million years.
JANUARY 2013 - FAREWELL ARNIE, YOU WILL BE MISSED!
On the morning of 9th January, after completing his staff greetings and doing his usual morning rounds to see his zoo friends, purring all the way, Arnie our Ginger Tom returned home for a spot of breakfast and then snuggled up on his bed and went to sleep. There he passed away peacefully.
Arnie came to live with us in 2000, he was a stray who made an immediate impression on all of us. Arnie had the most wonderful character just like a real live Garfield, he quickly settled in with our two other zoo cats and was definitely here to stay.
Arnie had a full and quality life. His CV included welcoming visitors, sharing their picnics, giving tours of the zoo and keeping everyone's spirits up. But his most special job of all, and one which he became very well known for, was as the baby sitter of abandoned new born animals brought into the house for hand rearing (he would occasionally find his own baby rabbit or moorhen chick and bring it home for us too), his favourite was of course lion cubs. Arnie baby sat all four of our adult lions when they were cubs and some of their offspring too, the last one he helped out with was Zara, first cub of Zuri and Safina.
A cat with an outstanding personality, Arnie was without a doubt a most extraordinary cat who had an extraordinary life, he will be missed by not only the people who knew and loved him, but by his many animal friends around the zoo too.
DECEMBER 2012 - OUR LITTLE STARS We’re delighted with our 6 little Indian star tortoises which hatched earlier this year. The latest hatched on Christmas Eve, so has been named Polaris by keepers after the North Star. The Indian star tortoise is a species highly prized by collectors and the parents themselves were Customs Seizures and came to us as babies. They first bred successfully in 2009 and it’s great that the two youngsters which hatched then, now have 6 little brothers and sisters.
DECEMBER 2012 - MORE PRICKLES THAN A CHRISTMAS TREE! First time mum and dad are proving to be the perfect parents, regularly feeding and grooming the little one, keeping it nice and warm under the heat lamp. A baby Porcupine is called a Porcupette!
The new arrival born on 10th December is proving to be bit of a distraction for our staff. Due to the infrared lamps in the bedroom area it’s easy for us to see in without the porcupines knowing we’re there. It’s fascinating to watch the interaction between parents and the new baby and we’re amazed at how attentative they both are, especially dad who’s often left to babysit while mum goes food forraging!
Watch a video of the porcupine family here
OCTOBER 2012 - KANGAROO JOEY FULLY OUT OF THE POUCH
Our Red Kangaroo joey is now well and truly out of the pouch and bounding around with the rest of the mob.
In early October the youngster was seen completely out of the pouch, just a few weeks later mum Matilda has decided that it no longer fits into her pouch and looking at the size of the joey - who can blame her!!!
21st SEPTEMBER 2012 - ZARA GIVES BIRTH! We’ve just heard the fantastic news that Zuri and Safina, our youngest pair of African lions, have become Grandparents, of course making Riziki and Karla Great Grandparents! Their first born Zara, who now lives at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Africa, gave birth to a beautiful little cub on 21st September.
Zara was born here at Linton on 13th May 2008, due to the inexperience of first time mum Safina, Zara had to be removed for hand rearing to ensure she survived. She then moved to the Ugandan Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.
Zara is proving to be an attentive and very protective mum, her maternal instincts are so strong she’s even trying to look after the cubs of another lioness, who were born a few days earlier. The father, 'Kibonge' is quite an old man now, estimated to be 16 years old!
1st SEPTEMBER 2012 - BILLY THE BINTURONG MAKES HIS DEBUT
Meet Billy the Binturong! This large mammal from the forests of south-east Asia just has to be the original Gruffalow! Billy was born at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam and will soon be joined by a female to make up a new breeding pair. The Binturong is a strange looking creature made up of all sorts of animal bits! At first it appears to be bear like often walking on its hind legs, but it has many cat characteristics too and this is where its other name of Bearcat comes from.
Binturong are rarely seen in captivity but have had a long association with Linton as they have been kept here since the early 1970's.
They are threatened in the wild due to the rapid destruction of their rainforest home and they are often trapped and killed by fruit farmers because they raid the plantations for an easy meal.
AUGUST 2012 - WELCOME CHOBBLER! We were overjoyed when Chobbler the Toco Toucan came to live with us from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Hopefully it won't be long before a suitable female is selected by the studbook keeper as a mate for him.
This is the largest and possibly best known species of Toucan. Its bill is usually between 15 and 20cm long, it looks heavy, but as with other Toucans it is relatively light because the inside is mostly hollow.
What appears to be a brilliant blue iris is actually thin blue skin around the eye. This ring is surrounded by another ring of bare, orange skin.
6th AUGUST 2012 - A FIRST FOR LINTON! On August 6th our Red Kangaroo joey popped its head out of the pouch for the first time and some lucky visitors were there to witness the moment and even caught it on camera (right). It won't be long before the little one is completely out of the pouch bouncing around with the rest of the mob, but with two boys for Matilda to choose from, who's the daddy.... Walter or Bruce???
Soon after the female gives birth, she will mate and produce another embryo that halts development until the first juvenille leaves the pouch. If around males, the female kangaroo is usually permanently pregnant, except on the day she gives birth.
Amazingly - the mother is able to produce two different kinds of milk simultaneously for the newborn and the older joey still in the pouch.
JULY 2012 - THE PERFECT PORKY PAIR Our male African Crested Porcupine Henry is over the moon with his new mate, three year old Halla. She came to us from the Welsh Mountain Zoo, the pair took to each other immediately and spent the rest of the day snuggled up together. When feeling threatened a Porcupine can erect the quills on its back and rattle the hollow quills in its tail, before emitting a series of grunts and growls.
As a last resort the Porcupine will charge backwards to impale with the spikes. The quills detach easily, giving rise to the myth that it can ‘fire’ the quills, which is untrue.
JULY 2012 - SACRED IBIS CHICKS
After 21 days of incubation, our Sacred Ibis hatched two chicks. The shallow nest is on the edge of the cliff face provided and you can often see the little ones peering over the edge watching the other birds. Both males and females incubate the eggs and feed the young partially digested food. At around 40 days old the youngsters will leave the nest joining the rest of the group.
Courtship ritual of Sacred Ibis include displays with the heads and necks being stretched out by both adults. They bow and intertwine their necks while preening and calling out.
3rd JULY 2012 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZURI! Our younger male African Lion turned 6 years old on July 3rd so we just had to give him a present to celebrate the big day! Zuri was born at West Midlands Safari Park and came to us just a few weeks old having been rejected by his mother needing to be hand reared.
Visit our Facebook page for a video clip of the present opening and subsequent fun!
Now a father himself, Zuri lives with his other half Safina in our award winning 'Lions Paradise', Safina's parents Riziki and Karla also live with us here in Linton.
Riziki celebrated a recent birthday too turning 9 on the 5th July.
JUNE 2012 - BABY BOOM IN THE OWL DEPARTMENT
Great Grey Owlet
Our owls have had a fantastic breeding season and all the youngsters are now out of the nest.
The Snowy Owls, who lay more eggs than most Owls, have 3 owlets.
The Malayan Brown Wood Owls have one owlet.
The Turkmenian Eagle Owls, laid a second egg after abandoning the first which hatched in March and is now being hand reared. This time round they are proving to be the perfect parents.
The Great Grey Owls have surprised us all by also hatching an owlet. This is the first time our younger pair of Great Grey Owls have bred, the female is just 3 years old herself.
One of the 3 Snowy Owlets pictured here with mum 'Hedwig' (on the left)
MAY 2012 - PARMA WALLABIES Our adult male Parma Wallaby 'Pogo' is taking his role as alpha male very seriously, as already the second wave of this years youngsters are emerging from their mothers pouches.
By the end of the 1800s, the Parma Wallaby was believed to be extinct, and it was not until 1965 that a small surviving population was found on Kawau Island (near Auckland, New Zealand). Another wild population was subsequently discovered in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia in 1967.
It is from these few animals that the entire current population of Parma Wallaby descends.
APRIL 2012 - EASTER CHICK
Meet our adorable Turkmenian Eagle Owlet “Hüwi” which is Turkmen for “Eagle owl”. When keepers realised that “Rohan” the mum wasn’t paying her new chick enough attention it was necessary for them to step in quickly to remove the little one for hand-rearing. Both parents of “Hüwi” were also hatched at Linton Zoo, dad “Pip” is 23 years old this year and “Rohan” is now 5. The Turkmenian Eagle Owl is one of the largest and most spectacular owls in the world, eventually reaching around 4.5kg and is closely related to the slightly larger large European Eagle Owl, Bubo bubo. Sadly though, it is believed to now be extinct in its original wild range around Turkmenistan, there are also very few pure bred birds in captivity so this little one is a very important individual, although he may not realise it! 29th MARCH 2012 - WHITE COLLARED LEMUR BABY
On 29th March, Harriet, one of our White Collared Lemurs, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
There are only 13 White Collared Lemurs in zoos around Europe; 9 of which are here with us in Linton!
Habitat loss is the greatest threat to this species in the wild, although it is also frequently hunted with shotguns, snares and slingshots particularly when it comes into coffee plantations. Due to their extremely endangered status in the wild and the alarming rate of destruction of their habitat, every birth of this species in captivity is vital in helping its survival.
MARCH 2012 - YOU'RE HAVING A LAUGH
The sound of the Laughing Kookaburra now echos loudly throughout the entire zoo! The bird starts with a low, hiccupping chuckle, before throwing its head back in raucous laughter. It’s a familiar sound to most of us after being used in many films, such as the old Tarzan movies, despite the fact Tarzan was in Africa and Kookaburras come from Australia!
The pair arrived in March from Leeds Castle Aviaries in Kent, which sadly closed its doors for the last time after over 20 years in operation.
We have also homed pairs of Scarlet Macaws, African Grey Necked Crowned Cranes and Yellow Shouldered Amazon Parrots.
JANUARY 2012 - NEW ARRIVAL WITH AN UNEXPECTED ADDITION!
Earlier this year we welcomed a trio of Red-Necked Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) who arrived with us from Woburn Safari Park.
Our young male and his two females have moved in with our mob of Red Kangaroo near the top of the zoo. The Red Necked Wallaby can be distinguished from other wallaby species by their black nose and paws and the white stripe along their upper lip. The males can reach around 90cm in height, the females are generally a bit smaller.
It would also appear that we were joined by a stowaway, shortly after their arrival we notice some movement in one of the females pouches. By mid-March the little one was poking its head out for its first view of the big outdoors!
Right: The young Joey trying his best to reach the fresh green leaves without having to leave the warm comfort of mums pouch.
1st OCTOBER 2011 - TAPIR CALF NUMBER 12!
On 1st October Tanya gave birth to her 12th calf, a little boy, with partner Shannon. Tapirs are pregnant for 13 months after which they give birth to a very spotty and stripy calf. The stripes and spots are moulted out at around 6 months old when they become the brown colour of adults.
‘Shannon’, born at Edinburgh Zoo in 1989 and‘Tanya’ born at Southport Zoo in 1990, were brought here as calves and have lived together happily ever since.
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