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Saturday 25 January 2020

Zoo are little beauties - Baby boom continues at Dublin Zoo

Six Chilean flamingo chicks were born in Dublin Zoo. Photo: Patrick Bolger
Six Chilean flamingo chicks were born in Dublin Zoo. Photo: Patrick Bolger

The baby boom continued this year at Dublin Zoo, where a range of endangered animals were welcomed.

Over the past 12 months, two western lowland gorillas babies, two Rothschild giraffe calves, three California sea lion pups, two red-ruffed lemur pups and six Chilean flamingo chicks all proved a major draw for visitors at the popular Phoenix Park location.

Of the two western lowland gorillas, a baby girl was born on April 1, to first time mother Kafi with father Bangui.

Bangui also fathered another baby gorilla on October 12, this time a baby male gorilla. Western lowland gorillas are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, according to the zoo.

Among the major innovations this year was the opening in September of a state-of-the-art habitat which is home to a pack of seven grey wolves.

Director Leo Oosterweghel said: "The year 2019 has been a very successful year at Dublin Zoo. We were delighted to welcome more new arrivals and open the brand new Wolves in the Woods habitat."

"We are continuously reinvesting in the zoo, building world class habitats that closely reflect the animals' natural environments, and are committed to offering a memorable day out to all our visitors."

Endangered

On April 13, two sibling red-ruffed lemur pups were born at Dublin Zoo, one male and one female.

Red-ruffed lemurs are native to Madagascar and are classed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Dublin Zoo is part of a European Breeding Programme for the species.

It also welcomed the birth of three California sea lion pups over the course of just three days in June.

Dublin Zoo takes part in the European breeding programmes for California sea lions and was thrilled to welcome two female pups and one male pup.

It also welcomed two Rothschild giraffe calves during 2019.

Giraffe calves stand approximately 1.8m tall and weigh an estimated 60kg when born. The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most threatened of the nine sub-species of giraffe. Rothschild male giraffes grow to six metres in height and can weigh over 2,000kg.

Since the zoo first opened its doors in 1830, its 28 hectares have been transformed with the support of the Irish public.

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