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Be still our beating hearts! What is about pandas that turn our hearts into mush? 

They're one of the cutest animals around, and it definitely helps that they're so silly and weird. Sadly, giant pandas are an endangered species that's been really tricky to breed and raise in captivity. According to National Geographic, "n the 1960s, only 30 percent of infant pandas born at breeding centers survived. Today 90 percent survive."

What changed? This video helps explains. 

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Congratulations to Erie Zoo, Pennsylvania, for welcoming the birth of two critically endangered red panda cubs! 

On August 6th, 2020,  Erie Zoo announced that their two adult pandas, Pumori and Delilah, have welcomed their first litter! One male cub and one female cub had been born. Currently in the care of animal specialists after staff members noticed the cubs were "failing to gain weight naturally." 

In the video, we see the zoo's veterinarian P.J. Polumbo nursing the four-week-old cubs. 

"They are doing extremely well," the spokesperson said during the cubs' unveiling on Facebook. "They did just open their eyes within the last week."

Story via People

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San Diego Zoo Announces Birth Of Endangered Lemur Twins

A big congrats to San Diego Zoo and to the mother, Rosalita, who birthed two endangered ring-tailed lemurs on July 8, 2020. 

The twins, one male, and one female (yet to be named) went through the Zoo's veterinarian's quality wellness check, to make sure everything is fine (ie, nursing properly, gaining weight, etc).

 Both twins have yet to be named but are in good health and very loved by all, especially their mother. 

Yeleny Smith, wildlife care specialist at the San Diego Zoo knew Rosalita would be an excellent mother from the start, "She immediately exhibited all the appropriate behaviors of a lemur mom—being very attentive, grooming them, placing them in the appropriate nursing position, encouraging them to nurse and tending to their every need. These births are significant, as they allow us to continue to learn and share knowledge about this endangered lemur species."

What a sight it must be! According to San Diego Zoo, the 13-day-old twins are often seen "clinging to their mothers' belly" as she often nurses them and relaxes in the sun. 

Who else is currently looking up San Diego ticket prices to see these two precious babies? Both San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are open but with added safety and health protocols. 

Story via San Diego Zoo Global ZooNooz

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Endangered Gorilla Is Expecting 1st Baby In New Orleans' Zoo

What beautiful news! 

13-year-old Tumani is excepting her very first baby! The critically endangered gorilla, who currently resides at the New Orleans' zoo, is already being trained in preparation for the bundle of joy! Tumani has been given a "doll" to care for, but since a stuffed doll doesn't look anything like a gorilla, it could be easily torn apart. 

Instead, they come up with another idea. Audubon Zoo's chief veterinarian, Dr. Robert McLean, explained that they created a "rugged section of canvas firehose tubing has been woven roughly to the proportions and weight of a 4-pound newborn gorilla."

"I haven't seen it myself, McLean continued. "Apparently it's pretty ugly but it does the job."

Tumani is a western lowland gorilla. In 2016, there was only an estimate of 362,000 in the wild, and that number falls about 2.7% a year. And according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, by 2082, those numbers might plummet to 80%. 

Unfortunately, due to diseases, such as Ebola, habitat loss, and illegal hunting, their population is plummeting quickly. 

And all the more reason to celebrate Tumani and her baby to be. We wish this mama a healthy delivery and a healthy baby! 

Story via ABC3340 News

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Endangered Javan Rhino Was Spotted Taking a Mud Bath in Indonesia

Indonesia's environment minister shared a video of a rare Javan rhinoceros taking a mud bath in Ujung Kulon National Park. 

It's believed there are just 72 of the animal left in the world.

The minister who shared the video, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, wrote that the rhinoceros had been identified as a 7-year-old male.

Listed as "critically endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red list, the Javan rhinoceros is found only in the Ujung Kulon National Park. Forest rangers have been guarding the national park to prevent poachers from killing rhinos and removing their horns, which can fetch huge sums of money on the black market.

Siti also explained that rhinoceros take mud baths to protect their skin from sunburn, insect bites and other parasites as well as to maintain their skin's moisture. Mud baths also help rhinoceros cool down and fulfill their mineral needs. Rhinoceros could take mud baths twice a day, with each session taking up to three hours, Siti added.


Endangered Javan Rhino Was Spotted Taking a Mud Bath in Indonesia | Elaine Sensiper @ElaineSensiper Replying Reuters lovely little spa he found too! 3:17 pm 2 Jul 2020 Orlando, FL Twitter iPhone >
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Pygmy hippos are an endangered species, there are approximately fewer than 2,500 of them currently living in the wild. 

And now, the San Diego Zoo has revealed the exciting news that the latest addition of the beautiful species is a male pygmy hippo! The hippo has had a successful birth and is the first of its kind in over 30 years!

His mother, a 4-year-old pygmy hippo named Mabel, is a first-time mother and is doing well after giving birth to her 12.4-pound calf. 

"Mom and calf are doing very well, they said – and the calf is nursing and getting lots of attention from the first-time mother," San Diego Zoo Global said in a statement.

Congrats, Mama Mabel! 


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British Photographer Travels The World For Two Years Capturing Endangered Animals

London-based photographer Tim Flach traveled the world for almost two years, capturing the nuanced expressions, unique patterning, and unusual profiles of endangered animals, large and small. Flach focused his lens on highlighting the traits of those valuable species that are at risk of disappearing due to habitat loss, climate change, and human activity. 

Flach has published several books of his photography: one is centered around endangered animals, while others are species-specific, celebrating horses, birds, or dogs. You can explore the artist's catalog as well as several galleries of animal portraits on his website, and follow him on Instagram for first glimpses of new work.

photos of endangered animals | Golden snub nosed monkey with reddish brown fur and a blue face | Iberian lynx wild cat with pointy ears and a tufts of fur under its chin
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Endangered Rhinos: New Stunning Photographs From Kenya

Below are 8 stunning and intimate photographs of white rhinos, taken with a BeetleCam at Solio Lodge wildlife conservancy, Kenya. 

The powerful images taken by British photographer, Will Burrard-Lucas, are part of his latest wildlife series. 

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, black rhinos are labeled as "critically endangered," and Southern white rhinos are "near threatened."

With a long lens, Burrard-Lucas' traveled around Kenya, and found black rhinos to be "very shy and elusive," he tells CNN Travel

While he found white rhinos to be the opposite, claiming they were "quite sociable animals."

"It's a very different experience being able to actually see them while I'm photographing them," he says. "That was a wonderful experience to be able to see that calf and mother going about their daily life."

Check out the extraordinary images below:

Story via CNN Travel

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Brilliant Campaign Features Images of Endangered Species Made Of Pixels to Show How Many Are Left

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) created back in 2008 A jaw-dropping campaign featuring several pixelated images of endangered animal species. Initially, as the photos look blurry, you wonder what is going on, as if a mistake has happened. Upon closer look, you realize that the pixels represent the number of species that are currently alive — the blurrier the image, the fewer the numbers. It's a heart-breaking yet fantastic campaign that brings awareness to the endangered species problem. Now, a follow-up project by JJSmooth44 has emerged, where the artist's work is based on the WWF campaign, and it's as impressive as the original.


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CITES Has Voted To Ban Endangered Smooth-Coated Otter Trade

Huzzah! Another step in the right direction! 

CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals, and as of yesterday, in a meeting in Geneva, over 100 countries have voted to ban the trade in the smooth-coated otters and officially placing the otters onto the CITES most endangered list. 

Story via France 24

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Excitement At Idaho Zoo As First Newborn Red Panda Is Born

Red pandas are adorable (even more so when they stand on their hind legs in the cutest defense mechanism ever). And no, they are not red-colored pandas (I know you're imagining that right now). A little floof has just been born at Idaho Zoo - the first ever red panda to be born there. As you can imagine, everyone is pretty excited about it. 

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UK Zoo Is Taking Extra Care Of Their New Little Member: An Endangered Baby Civet

A female Owston's civet, which is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, was born on April 15 at the U.K. zoo, and head zookeeper, Dave Rich, has been personally caring for her ever since, according to the zoo's website.

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Photographer Travelled The World to Capture Rare Shots of Endangered Animals

Endangered, a book by acclaimed photographer Tim Flach shares the results of his extraordinary multiyear project to document the lives of threatened species. Species some may or may not have ever heard of or seen. By traveling around the world, from forests to deserts, from the Arctic to coral reefs, he is able to offer us an incredible visual of these animals. Animals that are facing the challenges do to the harshness of the ecosystem. Here are only 14 from his amazing book...

h/t: Bright Side

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