Five female penguins have arrived from Europe. The Magellanic penguins travelled from Germany and Italy to their new home in an epic 24-hour journey. The five were selected by experts to join our bachelor boys and we have already seen promising signs of success.
In September we welcomed the birth of the UK’s only current female Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra foal, described as a miracle for the vulnerable species. Her arrival is critical to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. The foal has been named Wakanda by keepers, which is a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa and created by Marvel Comics. She joins Mum Helene, Dad Fernando and brother Jabali in the paddock.
Blackpool Zoo’s herd of Asian elephants is now almost complete following the safe arrival of two Mother and daughter Asian Elephants from Twycross Zoo. Noorjahan and her four-year-old calf, Esha arrived in August together. All elephants are clever, but Noorjahan is exceptionally intelligent. Esha is a very active, playful and inquisitive member of the herd. They reunite with their old friends Tara and Minbu at Base Camp.
July saw the arrival of this bounding burrowing boy named 'Asani'. Asani joins two female aardvarks Aggie and Annie. He came all the way from Czech Republic and has settled in remarkably well with the girls.
As England’s football squad were securing their place in the knock-out stages of the World Cup, three lions of a very different kind at the Zoo. The tiny (sea) lions were all born in early June weighing just 5kg each - two male pups and one female.
It was a right royal arrival for the first camel birth of the year 'Louis'. The male calf was spotted while news broke that the Duchess of Cambridge was in labour. The tiny double humped camel was thus named after the baby Prince. It's not just his name that is special but he's also a domestic Bactrian camel, whose wild Mongolian cousins are critically endangered.
Born in Burma in 1985, Minbu arrived at Blackpool Zoo in March. Minbu, has always been the dominant female whilst living at Twycross, known as a matriarch. She has strong maternal qualities and can often be seen keeping the rest of the herd in check. She can be nervous of new situations and often is the last elephant to try something new, although she has adapted well at Base Camp joining her friend Tara who arrived in January.
The start of the year saw the arrival of an energetic, young female short-clawed Otter named Ash. She joins Xinji, our male otter here at the zoo. Asian short-clawed otters are the smallest otter species in the world.
Born in 1998 at Twycross Zoo, Tara arrived here at Blackpool in January. Tara is a very playful elephant. She is enthusiastic and inquisitive, and is often the first to try out something new. Tara gave Kate the opportunity to get to know each other before the others arrive.
Bornean orangutan Jingga swung into the zoo in October from her Spanish home to Blackpool Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). She became famous in 2015 after a video of her went viral. Her hilarious reaction to a magic trick has been viewed more than 20 million times. Jingga was born in Barcelona in 2009 to mother Jawi and father Karl, and has settled well into Orangutan Outlook.
Our gorilla troop welcomed an adorable new addition on the 5th September! The baby male Western Lowland gorilla was named ‘Makari’. Mother Miliki gave birth in the early hours in a natural and uncomplicated birth. Makari joined older sister called Meisie, half brother Moanda, and father and resident silverback, 20-year-old Bukavu who is father to all three.
The male calf was born after a 13-month gestation on March 4th and has been named Clyde by keepers. He is being reared by his mother, Kara-may who lives with his father Sid in a herd of 8 camels at Blackpool.
A male Aardvark named Karl, after German footballer Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, arrived from Berlin Zoo as a new mate for resident female Laurel. Aardvarks are native to areas south of the Sahara in Africa, where they are often referred to as 'earth pigs', the Afrikaans translation of Aardvark.
Cotton-Top Tamarin Twins
The twins, who are yet to be sexed and named, are vital for the international breeding programme. The cotton-top tamarin is considered one of the world's most endangered primates – and is one of the smallest. There are said to be about 6,000 such monkeys left in the wild in their native Colombia, with numbers largely reduced through deforestation.
Blackpool Zoo's family of orangutans are back after a complete £1million transformation of their home. The house, which was originally built in the 1970's, has been tripled in size to make it wider and higher with an upstairs viewing area and extended keeper facilities.
A litter of three meerkat pups can now be seen in their enclosure in the Big Cat house. Meerkats breed successfully both in the wild and in captivity with litters between 1 and 5 pups, although most commonly, 3.