Los Angeles Zoo is debuting a quartet of winter babies. A trio of a giant otter pups and a giraffe calf are now on exhibit at the zoo.
The giant otter pups were born on September 14, 2014. There is one male and two females who recently made their debut on exhibit with their parents. This was their first shot at having a swim in the larger pool in their habitat. For the first few weeks of their life they learnt to swim in a smaller pool that is off exhibit.
Their learning has been quite successful as Jennie Becker, the Los Angeles Zoo’s Curator of mammals explained, “The babies have picked up swimming very fast. The parents are excellent teachers. The staff provided the water and a small pool, but it was the parents putting the babies in the water and encouraging them to swim.”
A Masai giraffe calf is also now on exhibit. He currently measure 6 feet tall (1.8m) and weighs 150lb (68kg). He was born on November 20 to female Hasina who is 6 years old. She moved to zoo in 2010 from San Diego Zoo. This is the second calf that Hasina has had with her first being Sophie last year. The father is 18 year old Artemus.
Patricia and Stanley Silver a local couple chose the name Leo for the calf. They made a significant contribution to the zoo’s animal acquisition fund which funds vital wildlife preservation and breeding projects worldwide and were given the naming rights as a gift.
Mrs Silver explained her choice for the name, “(it’s) for my father, Leo Guthman, because he would be so proud to be a part of the Los Angeles Zoo.”
Leo is on exhibit now. The zoo says he is a welcome holiday gift as populations of giraffes across Africa are plummeting due to hunting and habitat loss.
Photo Credits: Los Angeles Zoo/ Tad Motoyama