Top 10 zoo babies of 2014
2014 has been a bumper year for births at Blackpool Zoo. From chicks and cubs to pups and infant primates, here’s our round up of the top ten 2014 babies.
1. Stripy sensations
Barney and Radzi, our two male Amur tiger cubs, were the first of this endangered species to be born at Blackpool Zoo for more than 18 years. Find out how they’re getting with our 6 month update from keeper Andrew - click here.
2. An early Christmas present for Ivy
Keepers were delighted to discover in early December that our 25 year old female pileated gibbon, Ivy, had given birth to a happy and healthy youngster. The species is classed as endangered, so every birth is significant, and we’re happy to report that both mum and baby are doing well.
3. Cotton top twins
August saw the arrival of two new cotton top tamarins, a species considered to be one of the world’s most endangered primates. Their arrival was cause for big celebration, as only a few months previously the new mum was one of five monkeys stolen during a targeted break in at the zoo.
4. Celebrating the world cup, sea lion style
While the world’s eyes were on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we were a little distracted by a new arrival in our Active Oceans arena. Experienced mum Isabelle gave birth to a male sea lion pup in June, who has since been named Rio.
5. A first at Wolf Ridge
The first of their species to be born at Blackpool Zoo, we welcomed two male Iberian Wolves to our pack in June.
6. A flamboyance of flamingos
Our Facebook fans were given an exclusive insight into the world of flamingo breeding, as Flamingo Fridays documented the incubation, hatching, hourly feeding and nurturing of a group of flamingo fledglings. The eight youngsters have now settled into life on the lake and are gradually turning pinker day by day.
7. Olaf and Cleo join the herd
It’s been a successful year of breeding for our herd of critically endangered Bactrian camels, as we saw the arrival of not one, but two calves being born within a week of each other. Female Cleo and male Olaf are growing up fast but are still easy to spot in their paddock.
8. Meerkat mayhem
A firm favourite with many, we were delighted to welcome 3 tiny meerkat pups to the mob this summer. Still smaller than the adults, these three can be seen playing and exploring in the Big Cat Houses.
9. Margo makes a splash
The only one of her species to hatch in the UK this year, hand reared penguin chick Margo has been making a big splash in the penguin pool.
10. 28 tiny tortoises
While they weren’t actually born here, a 28 strong troop of tiny baby tortoises that were found being smuggled into the UK are getting their happy ever after here at Blackpool Zoo. These sulcata tortoises were seized by Borderforce and collected from Heathrow by the zoo’s specialist reptile staff at the beginning of October.
And last but not least, here's to all the other zoo babies of 2014! There have been far too many to photograph them all, but here are some of our other favourites...