Buffalo Zoo Welcomes New Babies

November 11, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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Mother snow leopard Anna and one of her cubs

November 11, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 8:52 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- There’s a baby boom taking place at the Buffalo Zoo, as a white-faced saki, Japanese macaque and two snow leopard cubs have joined the collection!

White-Faced Saki

A baby saki monkey was born on April 28, 2010 to mother, Katrina, and father, Maracaibo. The birth of this white-faced saki is a first for the Buffalo Zoo!

Katrina is taking good care of her newborn. Keepers do not wish to disrupt bonding between Katrina and her baby, so they have not separated them to determine the baby’s gender.

White-faced sakis are found in the tropical rainforests of eastern and southern Venezuela, the Guianas and northern Brazil. Mature females give birth to one offspring per year. Baby sakis are all born with female colorations. Males do not begin to acquire the striking white face, for which the species is named, until they are approximately two months old.

The white-faced saki monkey is considered to be a vulnerable species due to hunting, collection for the pet trade and habitat destruction.
The Buffalo Zoo’s white-faced saki monkeys are housed inside M&T Bank Rainforest Falls. However, for their health and safety, the saki family is not on exhibit at this time.

Japanese Macaque

The baby Japanese macaque, who keepers have named Niko, was born on June 1, 2010 to mother, Debbi, and father, Eric. Keepers believe that the baby is a male, but as with the saki monkey, the keepers do not wish to separate Debbi from her baby to determine the gender. Niko is growing fast and discovering new things each day.

The newborn is Debbi and Eric’s third offspring. Their two previous offspring, Ohno and Yuki, remain in the troop as well.

Also called snow monkeys, Japanese macaques live farther north than any other non-human primate. Thick coats help to maintain their body heat so the snow monkeys can survive the cold temperatures of central Japan’s highlands. They spend a good deal of time sunbathing, huddling together, sleeping and bathing in hot springs. Japanese macaques also play a special role in mythology, folklore and art of Japan. Most familiar are the three snow monkeys that represent the wisdom of Buddha: “See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.”

The Japanese macaque is an endangered species due to human encroachment and habitat destruction.

Buffalo Zoo visitors can find the Japanese macaques in Vanishing Animals (South). The Zoo has two macaque troops, which are exhibited on a rotational basis. Niko is on exhibit with his troop every other day.

Snow Leopards

For the first time in five years, the “pitter patter” of little paws can also be heard in the snow leopard exhibit!

Two male cubs were born on June 6, 2010 to mother, Annapurna, and father, Dwaine. The breeding was recommended as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is designed to help a species maintain a healthy and stable population.

First-time mom, Annapurna, was the last snow leopard to be born at the Buffalo Zoo. She is taking good care of her little ones, who remain with her in the nest box off exhibit. Keepers have set up a Live Cam in the nest box so visitors can observe the cubs’ progress on the monitor inside Ecostation. Video of the birth is also available on the Zoo’s website at www.buffalozoo.org. Visitors can still view Dwaine in his outdoor exhibit in Vanishing Animals (North).

Found in the high mountains of Central Asia, including the Himalayas, Altai and Hindu Kush, snow leopards are solitary animals that typically only come together for breeding. Snow leopard cubs open their eyes at seven to nine days, eat sold food at two months and follow their mother on hunts at three months.

Snow leopards are highly endangered due to poaching for the fur trade, loss of habitat, dam projects and a loss of food sources.