Ohio's Columbus Zoo recently reopened and there are plenty of new faces for guests to meet

By Kelli Bender
July 01, 2020 05:20 PM
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Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Ohio's Columbus Zoo is entering July with several new residents.

In June, the zoo welcomed a Masai giraffe calf, a sea lion pup, and two red panda cubs. A baby siamang just missed the June cut off, and was born on May 29. All five of the animals are "contributing to the future of these species that are facing challenges to their survival," according to the zoo's Facebook post about the baby boom.

The little siamang, as noted, arrived first. The baby, whose sex and name have yet to be determined, was born to mom Olga and dad Rashid. This is Olga's third child and her experience shows. The zoo says she is "very attentive' to her new little one. Guests can spot this family of three in the zoo's Australia and the Islands region.

Siamangs are a type of gibbon native to Indonesia. They are listed as endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Next came the zoo's red panda cub twins. The pair, a male and a female, were born on June 13 to 2-year-old mother, Kora, and 7-year-old father, Gen Tso.

"Both are first-time parents and they continue to cohabitate well. Kora is the primary caregiver, which is customary for red pandas since they are mostly solitary except during breeding season," the zoo wrote of the red panda family on Facebook.

The zoo's animal care team is keeping a close eye on Kora's mothering skills and have found that that new mom is doing a great job nursing the cubs herself. Keepers have been able to perform several visual checks and weigh-ins on the red panda babies and have found them to be in good health. Guests can expect to start spotting the new arrivals in about four months, when the red panda cubs naturally start exploring outside their nest.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Following closely behind this adorable duo is the zoo's new California sea lion pup. Born June 25, to first-time mom Lovell, the pup is doing well and bonding strongly with mom. Lovell and her unnamed female pup will stay behind the scenes to continue strengthening their bond for the near future. "Staff notes that Lovell is providing exceptional care to her pup, and is protective of her little one, while still maintaining a strong, trusting bond with her trainers," the zoo said of the mother-daughter pair.

Last but not least, and certainly the longest of all the newborns, is the Columbus Zoo's new Masai giraffe calf. The baby was born on June 28 to 10-year-old mom Zuri.

"The Animal Care team, who is observing Zuri and her newborn very closely via camera monitors, reports that Zuri is being a great mother. The sex of the calf is not yet known and as the calf appears to be healthy, staff is providing time for Zuri to bond with her calf," the zoo noted in their post.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

This healthy birth is especially welcomed news at the Columbus Zoo, after the facility lost three giraffes, including two young calves, in 2018.

The zoo recently reopened on June 15, after being temporarily closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All guests will are required to reserve a ticket ahead of their visit to help the zoo practice social distancing. The zoo has created a reopening plan to inform their visitors of the changes to expect on their next visit to the park.

Catch up with the Columbus Zoo on Secrets of the Zoo on Nat Geo WILD and Disney +