Can you spot the ring-tailed lemur twins?
Make sure you take a ride on the Tanganyika Road Train this weekend! Along with wolves, jackals and our beautiful white tiger, there are two tiny new arrivals at Lemur Islands. The twins can usually be seen with their mum Madison, or one of the other females in the group. Look out for the babies on your ride around the lake!
Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend at Colchester Zoo!
With so much to see and do at Colchester Zoo this spring, why not pay us a visit this weekend? Check out the brand new African Farm walkthrough, visit Rajang the orangutan in Orangutan Forest, or watch our colony of penguins enjoying a feed at Penguin Shores. You can even work out which penguin is which with our new 'Wall of Fame'! Have a look at the Zoo Tour today to help you plan your day out!
Talia the baby chimp needs adopters!One of our most exciting new arrivals this year so far only has 2 adopters! If you would like to adopt her, either as a treat for yourself or as a great gift for somebody who's crazy about chimps, click here!
Colchester Zoo recruiting for volunteers!
Colchester Zoo will be interviewing for volunteers to assist our busy Discovery and Learning Team during the summer months! The role is primarily to provide visitors with information about the species at Colchester Zoo, this is not an animal care role.
alia the baby chimp ready for adoption!
In March we showed you the first exciting photos of our baby chimp! The baby is now known to be a female, and has been named 'Talia' by her keepers. If you would like to be one of the first to adopt Talia, fill out the online adoption form or call 012... ext 227.
Adopt her now at http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=involve.adopt
Last week we announced the birth of a baby chimp at Chimp World, and we are now delighted to show you the first photo of our new baby warthogs! The piglets were born just over 3 weeks ago but have only just come out of their heated indoor area with their mum Tunip. Both the baby chimp and the 3 warthog babies are healthy and strong and should be easy to spot in their enclosures over the Easter holidays!
new arman lepord encosure
Building work for our new Amur leopard enclosure will start in June 2009. The work will involve extending the enclosure that currently houses our male leopard to over three times its current size, incorporating the dik dik and stork enclosure and cotton top tamarin enclosure, taking it down to the back of the giant anteater exhibit. Because leopards are solitary in the wild, we must have separate enclosures for our male and female leopards, but there must be a facility to mix them during breeding season, which is the only time in the wild that they would interact. This will be a much improved home for our leopards, incorporating more space, a more natural environment with lots of height and areas for climbing and better viewing for the public. We also plan to include a training area for the leopards so that the public can view training sessions with the keepers which will show how important techniques are used to enrich our animals lives, and to aid research projects to help leopards in the wild. The whole project is likely to cost over a 1/4 million pounds. Please click here to find out more www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=involve.donateGlobal
Orangutan Forest is now fully open!
Two brand new Keeper Shadowing experiences!
We are delighted to let you know that it is now possible to take part in two brand new, fantastic keeeper shadowing experiences! Keeper Shadowing is the great opportunity to go behind the scenes with a keeper for about half an hour. The first new experience is to meet Rajang the Orangutan at his brand new enclosure Orangutan Forest! The second is to go behind the scenes at the Cheetah enclosure where you might even be lucky enough to meet Katavi our hand reared Cheetah cub as she is starting to spend time there getting used to the other cheetahs.
Orangutan Forest outdoor area now complete!
The building team here at Colchester Zoo have been working extremely hard on the outdoor area of Orangutan Forest and it is now all finished! As you can see from the photo, the climbing ropes and nets are now in place in the outdoor enclosure, as well as the undercover viewing area.
The site of the new enclosure is next to the old Stanway Church and is accessible via an underground walkway from Playa Patagonia. In the future it is hoped that the zoo will be able to take on a breeding pair of the endangered primate in the hope that one day Orangutans can be bred at Colchester Zoo.
The new exhibit also features a selection of Asian fish in a wonderful new state of the art aquarium. The existing male in the new freshwater Asian Pond Turtle tank will also be joined by a mate in the next few days. As a greatly endangered species it is great news that Colchester Zoo will be able to breed Asian Pond turtles for the first time.
The new education house is full of interesting facts about the plight of Orangutans in the wild and why the conservation projects that they are supported by are so vitally important to their survival.
Work for this development will have cost in the region of £1,750,000, by the time it is fully complete.
Sponsorship opportunities are available and any enquiries should be e-mailed to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Outdoor area at Orangutan Forest is now open!
The fantastic new outdoor area at Orangutan Forest is now open to the public! There are fun interactive activities outside and a huge undercover viewing area with a stunning view over the entire outdoor climbing area, through floor to ceiling glass panels. If the weather’s not great, you can still see everything going on outside through a live camera link from the indoor area, or learn more about the dangers facing Orangutans in the wild in the activity centre.
If you’re Orangutan mad, or know somebody who is - why not book the brand new Keeper Shadowing experience at Orangutan Forest? Go behind the scenes with a keeper and watch Rajang enjoying his lunch as you learn more about how we look after him here at Colchester Zoo. Click here for more information and to book. http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=involve.keeper.shadow.stage1
10.30 Orangutan Forest Guided Tour A9 (20) An exciting guided tour around the Orangutan Forest building – inside and outside!
12:00 Orangutan Feed Time A9 (15) Come to the new Orangutan Forest and meet Rajang, our male orangutan, in his new enclosure and watch him tuck into his lunch.
Don’t miss out on the chance to meet the Orangutan keeper who will tell you all about the animals they look after, and ask them as many questions as you like at 14.00 when you can Meet the Orangutan Keeper A9!
Series two of Zoo Days comes to an end
The second series of Zoo Days comes to an end on Friday February 6th at 6.30pm on Channel 5!
For more information on the series click here http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=content.list&page=35§ion=6
In the meantime, if you are missing seeing all your favourite animals on the small screen the Zoo Days Series One DVD is still available for just £11.75 plus postage. Just click on this link for the zoo shop to order now! http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/shop/
For updates on some of the animals that featured on the programme do check out our news page. http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=news.list
Opal the Elephant confirmed pregnant on the 10th anniversary of her arrival at Colchester Zoo!
Colchester Zoo are delighted to announce that Opal the elephant is pregnant through artificial insemination using sperm from Jack, a bull elephant at the West Midland Safari Park. Coincidentally the announcement falls on the 10th anniversary of the prosecution of Mary Chipperfield and her husband for their abuse of a variety of animals in their travelling circus, which resulted in both Opal and Tembo coming to Colchester Zoo.
Opal is approximately 28 years old and her and bull Tembo came to Colchester after being bought by Colchester Zoo to rescue them from the Chipperfield’s circus. Another elephant, Rosa, also came to Colchester at the same time but sadly had to be put to sleep in November 2007 due to serious health problems.
Over the last 10 years Tembo has now fathered four young; two at Colchester; Kito and Jambo and two at other zoos (through artificial insemination).
Kito was the first calf to be born at Colchester Zoo on 6th December, 2002 to Tembo and mum Tanya, the matriarch of Colchester’s herd. He was the first elephant in the world to be successfully conceived by Artificial Insemination (AI) on the first attempt. This was thanks to the help of Thomas Hildebrandt and Robert Hermes, wildlife reproduction experts from the Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin who have pioneered artificial insemination techniques for elephants. These techniques have been used to father two of Tembo’s other calves as well as for Opal.
On 15th March, 2004, Jambo was born to Rosa another of the elephants rescued from Chipperfield’s, who conceived naturally with Tembo. Jambo left Colchester Zoo on 4th March 2008 to join a brand new state-of-the-art zoo called BioParc Valencia in Spain where in the future he will play an active role in the endangered species breeding programme.
Tembo’s other calves born through artificial insemination were Abu was born in April 2001 before Kito at Vienna Zoo and Thabo-Umasai who was born at Dresden Zoo in February 2006.
Anthony Tropeano, Colchester Zoo’s Zoological Director, said, “Opal and Tembo are in the best of health and thoroughly enjoying their life at Colchester Zoo after such an unhappy time spent at Chipperfield’s. We are absolutely delighted with the news that Opal is pregnant and that both elephants are now playing such an important part of the breeding programme for African elephants. We are very much looking forward to the arrival of a new baby elephant at Colchester Zoo around April 2010!
Welcome to the Colchester Zoo Christmas E-Letter!
Last chance to see Santa at Colchester Zoo in 2008!
Santa and his reindeer will be at Colchester Zoo for seven days straight through from Thursday 18th to Wednesday 24th December before they fly off round the world for their annual deliveries. If you haven't seen the Enchanted Christmas grotto yet or the staff's Mini Panto "Peter Pan" don't miss out! Santa's grotto is open from 9.30am till 4.00pm and there are several chances to see his reindeer throughout the day (further details on the Magic of Christmas event days can be found here).
Last minute Christmas shopping?
Panicking about last minute Christmas presents for your friends and loved ones? The Ark and Acacia Shops at Colchester Zoo are open every day up to Christmas Eve. You can browse at your leisure through a fantastic range of gifts without even having to pay entry to the Zoo! Many products are also available on our online shop here and if you get your online orders to us by 12pm (noon) on Friday 19th December, we'll have them delivered to you by first class post in time for Christmas! There's a range of gift vouchers available for Keeper for the Day, Junior Keeper and Keeper Shadowing to Gold and Platinum Cards all of which come in a presentation wallet ready to wrap!
Card Holder terms of entry
There have been a number of problems recently at our pay desks regarding entry to the zoo for card holders. Please note that it is only possible to enter Colchester Zoo free of charge if you bring your valid Gold or Platinum Card with you.
If you are unable to show your card then admission must be paid to enter and cannot be refunded. Please also note that fast track entry for card holders can only be provided at busy times and that no payments can be taken on fast track for card holders' guests.
For further information on Gold and Platinum Cards click here.
Finally, a very Happy Christmas from all the staff and keepers at Colchester Zoo, and thank you very much for all your support over the past year. Make sure you pay us a visit again in 2009!
Colchester Zoo offers the coolest birthday parties around!
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Colchester Zoo very sad to announce the loss of Djambe the Orangutan
Colchester Zoo are very sad to announce the loss of Djambe, the female Orangutan on the 25th October. Djambe and her companion, Rajang had moved to the new Orangutan Forest enclosure at the beginning of October and had both coped well with the relocation under anaesthetic.
However, during a medical examination at the time of the move a large, irregular shaped mass; now known to be an ovarian cyst, was found on the right side of Djambe's abdomen. On 25th October, keepers perceived everything to be normal with her as she was alert and fed as usual and surgery was planned for two weeks later, once she had settled from the move. However, late in the afternoon she was discovered dead. Post mortem results indicated that she had suffered a heart attack following the rupture of the ovarian cyst. It is now clear from the post mortem that an attempt at surgery would not have been a viable option for her due to nature of this condition.
Djambe, was born in Stuttgart Zoo on the 8th July 1978 and came to Colchester Zoo in 1998.
There is always a concern when an animal has to be anaesthetized and we were delighted that both Rajang and Djambe coped so well with this. We are obviously devastated by this turn of events.
|Born:||8th July 1978|
|Mother & Father:||?? & ??|
Djambe is a 25 year old Sumatran female orangutan. She is the only female orangutan at Colchester Zoo, where she has been since 1998. She is on loan to Colchester from Twycross Zoo. Djambe is no longer part of a breeding programme because the bloodline of her young has been used a lot for breeding.we are sorry to say that djambe has passed away
colchester zoo photos
|Subspecies:||Bornean / Sumatran hybrid|
|Born:||14th June 1968|
|Mother & Father:||?? & ??|
Rajang is a 40 year old male orangutan. He came from Chester Zoo to Colchester Zoo on 28th March 1980, and is one of the zoo's longest living residents. Rajang was born in captivity and is a hybrid Bornean / Sumatran orangutan. The two different orangutan subspecies are no longer bred together, to conserve the two distinct subspecies. For this reason Rajang is not used for breeding, and is the last living orangutan hybrid in Britain.
Latest News Katavi the cheetah news update! Baby Colobus Monkey born at Colchester Zoo! Fennec Fox pup flourishing! Local artist donates picture of Rajang to Colchester Zoo
As many of you will have seen on Zoo Days; Zoo Director Anthony Tropeano and Rebecca Perry, Colchester Zoo’s conservation officer have been hand rearing Katavi the female cheetah cub.
In June 2008 the young cheetah cub was removed from the enclosure a few hours after she was born as her mother, Uria had removed her from her den and abandoned her. As a tiny cub, she required round the clock feeding and care, but made remarkable progress and is now strong and thriving.
At 9 months old Katavi has grown enormously and is gradually being introduced at the cheetah enclosure. She is now spending regular periods at the enclosure and can be seen at the 3.15 Cheetah Encounter for the first time!
The Cheetahs at Colchester Zoo are part of an EEP breeding programme because they are listed as vulnerable in the wild. Unfortunately Cheetahs can suffer from persecution from humans in the wild when their territories are close to farm land and, also, their numbers are also declining due to habitat loss.
We’re very pleased to let you know that there is a new addition to our Colobus Monkey group here at Colchester Zoo!
Male and female monkeys Apollo and Etosha were moved from the main group to the Out of Africa area of the zoo in order to form a breeding pair and this has proven to be a success!
The newborn colobus monkey is covered with white fur, so is fairly easy to spot clinging to the fur on Etosha’s abdomen. At about 1 month, the fur will gradually begin to change colour, finally gaining the black and white adult coloration at about 3 months. A female suckles her baby for around 7 months.
Although this is Etosha’s first baby, she is proving to be a very capable mother, and has been spending a lot of time grooming the baby.
The new birth is great news for the breeding programme that these endangered primates are a part of and adds to Colchester Zoo’s excellent breeding record with Black and White Colobus monkeys, with 3 babies born to Cally, (the breeding female in our second group) since 2000.
The Colobus is the most arboreal of all African monkeys, spend most of their time in treetops and rarely descending to the ground. It uses branches as trampolines, jumping up and down on them to get liftoff. They leap up and then drop downward, falling with outstretched arms and legs to grab the next branch.
Colobus monkeys are strictly vegetarian, preferring to eat the tender young leaves found in the forest canopy. However, complex a stomach system enables them to digest mature or toxic foliage that other monkeys cannot.
They have several predators in the wild including leopards, pythons and also chimpanzees, who hunt Colobus monkeys to supplement their diet with fresh meat.
Black and White Colobus monkeys have been hunted by locals in Africa for their meat and also their fur, since the white mantle is prized for adorning traditional costumes. This has led to a decline in the wild population over the last few decades, making breeding programmes like the one in place at Colchester Zoo even more vital for the creation of new bloodlines.
Back in July we reported the birth of our first Fennec Fox pup to be raised at Colchester Zoo. Proud parents Sabah and Sudan are still doing a great job bringing up the pup.
Now that the pup is a few months old, we are happy to announce that it is a female and she has been named Sadia by her keepers.
Sadia and her parents can be seen most days, especially between the hours of 9.30am and 11.30am and again between 3.00pm and 4.00pm. The fennec foxes are usually fed just before the Lions at 4.00pm and so if you are in that zone at that time of day, you are almost certain to catch sight of her! The picture above was taken when she was nearly 1 month old.
The birth and survival of Sadia is a fantastic achievement not only as she is the first baby fennec fox to survive at Colchester Zoo, but also because the species is a part of the ESB breeding programme and the success of the baby from a new breeding pair will mean additional genetic diversity to the programme.
The Fennec Fox is not yet considered to be endangered but there is an ESB breeding programme and the species is classified as an Appendix II species under CITES. This is due to the fact that they are often hunted by humans, though it does not cause any direct harm to human interests. Like other foxes, it is prized for its fur by the indigenous people of the Sahara and Sinai. They are also caught and tra
ded for the pet trade.
Local artist, Leigh Shelton, has just completed a beautiful pastel image of Colchester Zoo's male Orangutan, Rajang. This coincides with the 2009 opening of Rajang and Djambe's new enclosure. Bids currently stand at £70. If you would be interested in placing a bid please email email@example.com
Leigh is pictured with Conservation Officer Rebecca Perry. Find out more about Leigh at his website www.noseypotter.com
The picture is due to be auctioned at the forthcoming "Primate Evening" on Saturday 27th June, 2009 with the reserve currently standing at £70! Find out more about the evening at http://www.colchester-zoo.co.uk/index.cfm?fa=news.special.detail&id=296
Katavi the cheetah news update!
Baby Colobus Monkey born at Colchester Zoo!
Fennec Fox pup flourishing!
Local artist donates picture of Rajang to Colchester Zoo
|bout the Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)|
|Latin name||Panthera pardus orientalis|
|Distribution||Russian far east and possibly north east China|
|Habitat||Temperate forests in hilly country.|
|Gestation||After 3 months, 1-4 cubs are born.|
|Longevity||12 years in wild.|
|Status in the wild||Critically Endangered|
|General characteristics||The Amur leopard is the northern most species of leopard, and is much paler in coat colour compared to other subspecies. It also has longer legs and hair than other subspecies of leopard, allowing it to stay warm in its harsh climate and to walk easily through the snow. Its winter coat is about 7cm in length and is light coloured, whereas the summer coat is shorter and reddish-yellow in colour. This coat is covered in large, dark rosettes, which are widely spaced with thick, unbroken borders. Amur leopards are mainly solitary and are generally active at night. They communicate with a distinctive rasping call, rather than a growl and are excellent hunters, running up to 37 mph over short distances. They can also jump well, leaping about six metres across the ground and up to three metres into the air. Amur leopards are one of the most critically endangered big cats in the world, with less than 50 left in the wild. They are hunted for their thick coats and for their bones for the Traditional Chinese Medicine trade. They are also losing much of their habitat and are being killed by farmers when they turn to livestock to find food.|
|About the Binturong ( (Arcticus Binturong) )|
|Latin name||(Arcticus Binturong)|
|Distribution||Thailand, Vietnam, Sumatra, Borneo and Java.|
|Habitat||Dense tropical and sub-tropical forest.|
|Diet||Leaves, fruit, birds, fish and small mammals.|
|Gestation||92 days with 1 -2 offspring born.|
|Longevity||Up to 18 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.|
|Status in the wild||Rare in current range but not endangered.|
|General characteristics||Also known as the bearcat, the binturong is related to the mongoose. They are tree dwelling animals, with long bushy tails that have a prehensile (gripping) tip and sharp claws to help them move around the branches.|
They are a nocturnal species with very good night vision, sensitive hearing and excellent sense of smell. Being an arboreal species they can skilfully move around the trees. However, they are less agile on the ground.
Binturongs live in small family groups made up of a male, female and their offspring. Both parents care for the young and teach them how to use their tail for balancing and gripping. They mark their territory with a scent which smells like popcorn.
These animals are part of an ESB (European Studbook).
|About the Cheetah ( Aciononyx juabatus )|
|Latin name||Aciononyx juabatus|
|Distribution||Northern and central Africa and small areas of the Middle East.|
|Habitat||Savannah, most regions of Africa except the rainforests.|
|Diet||Gazelles, impala, wildebeest calves and other hoofed mammals.|
|Gestation||91 - 95 days, usually 3 offspring born.|
|Longevity||Up to 12 years in the wild, longer in captivity,|
|Status in the wild||Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN and in CITES Appendix I.|
|About the Giant Anteater ( (Mrymecophaga tridactyla) )|
|Latin name||(Mrymecophaga tridactyla)|
|Distribution||Southern Mexico to Uruguay and north west Argentina.|
|Habitat||Grasslands, woodlands and rainforest.|
|Diet||Ants and termites, sometimes other soft bodied insects.|
|Gestation||180 days with one offspring born.|
|Longevity||Unknown in the wild. 26 years in captivity.|
|Status in the wild||Listed as vulnerable by the IUCN and in Appendix II of CITES.|
|General characteristics||The Giant anteater's large body is covered in long, coarse fur. The main colour of the fur varies from black to grey. However all have the black stripe outlined in white which runs from under thehead to midway along the body. The front legs are white with a black band. |
Males and females look so alike that females can only be recognised when they are carrying their babies on their backs.
Their head is long and has a tubelike mouth and nose. Giant anteaters have a tongue that can be longer than 60cm (2ft). This is covered in a very sticky saliva and is used to lick ants out of their nests.
Giant anteaters are armed with huge claws on their front feet, which are used to rip open termite mounds. While walking these claws are folded back into the anteaters palms to stop them from breaking, forcing the anteater to walk on its knuckles.
Giant anteaters are threatened by habitat destruction. They are also hunted for their pelts and as sport.