[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman


After what felt like an eternity for the Denver Zoo, their long-awaited Linne’s Two-toed Sloth baby finally arrived on April 11.

The new baby, whose name and sex are yet to be determined, has been deemed “very healthy” by the Zoo’s veterinary team. The infant was born to 23-year-old mom, Charlotte Greenie, and her 28-year-old mate, Elliot. The little one is said to be bonding and resting with Charlotte in their Bird World habitat, while dad and older sister, Baby Ruth (who was born in January 2018), are temporarily off-exhibit to give mom and baby time and space to bond.



BabySloth4Photo Credits: Denver Zoo

When Denver Zoo announced Charlotte’s pregnancy in December, they estimated that the baby would be born as early as January. However, Sloth due dates are notoriously challenging to predict because they are primarily active at night and breeding is rarely observed. The Zoo’s animal care team closely monitored Charlotte for months to ensure that she and the baby were healthy and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. According to keepers, the baby clung to Charlotte immediately after birth and will remain attached to her almost exclusively for at least six months.

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus)---also known as the Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth or Southern Two-toed Sloth---are found in the rainforests of South America, primarily in Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. They are a nocturnal species that spend 15 to 20 hours per day sleeping, and become active about an hour after sunset until about two hours before sunrise. Linne’s are among two types of sloth: two-toed and three-toed—and six different species, including the Pygmy Three-toed, Maned, Pale-throated, Brown-throated, and Hoffman’s. Although the Linnaeus’s Two-toed is not currently considered threatened, two other species, the Pygmy Three-toed and Maned, are “critically endangered” and “vulnerable”, respectively.

Denver Zoo keepers say the best time to visit the new baby and mother is late in the afternoon when mom, Charlotte, is more likely to be moving around. Keepers ask that visitors keep their voices low while the baby adjusts to life in its new world.

Be sure to follow the Denver Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular baby sloth updates!

bcholmes: (trotsky)
[personal profile] bcholmes

On a pretty regular basis, I find myself thinking about this scene from The Trotsky, in which two of Leon’s colleagues are trying to convince the school’s students to back Leon’s (radical) course of action:

I particularly like the acknowledgement that Tony isn’t sure that he’s sold on the path forward, but is prepared to back it anyway.

Mirrored from Under the Beret.


Apr. 17th, 2019 04:01 am
[syndicated profile] robot_hugs_feed

Posted by Robot Hugs

New comic!

I knew that damn thing was going to replace me. Granted, it vacuums with more skill and frequency than I ever did, but still.


[syndicated profile] wondermark_feed

Posted by David Malki

I’ve enjoyed following historian Bob Nicholson on Twitter, @DigiVictorian.

He often posts examples of interesting things he finds in old newspapers, which as longtime readers know is also an interest of mine.

These two particular examples are even on similar themes to my own areas of fascination, that is, modernity and beards:

A full, bushy thread on beards begins here.

A bit ago, he went viral with his diatribe against inaccurate Victorian-era newspapers in film & television:

You can read the whole (constantly-being-added-to) thread beginning here.

He’s also working on a survey of Victorian jokes and humor in particular. In this article he describes the prevalence of Victorian puns and groaners:

It turns out the Victorians joked about much the same topics as we do: cutthroat lawyers, quack doctors, mothers-in-law, foreigners (particularly the French), celebrities, political news, romantic misadventures, family squabbles, fashion faux pas, cheeky children, and other amusing situations drawn from everyday life. For a historian like me, these gags offer valuable insights into the inner workings of Victorian society. Laughter, after all, is a powerful thing – as anybody who’s ever been the butt of a cruel joke can attest. […]

Entire books of puns were also published, including Puniana (1867) and More Puniana (1875), which contained hundreds of pages of exquisitely tortured wordplay. Consider this appropriately festive example:

If you were to kill a conversational goose, what vegetable would she allude to?
Ah-spare-a-goose! (asparagus)

Or this bizarre bit of wit:

When do we possess a vegetable time-piece?
When we get-a-potato-clock (get up at 8 o’clock).

Jokes and puns in particular he regulalry posts to the Twitter account @VictorianHumour.

And here are some other good threads to read!

It’s all good stuff, and he’s doing the Lord’s work out there.

Brand-New Nyala for Newquay Zoo

Apr. 17th, 2019 10:04 am
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_nyala 4

Newquay Zoo recently welcomed the arrival of a new Nyala. The calf was born to parents, Ayra and Arnold.

John Meek, Newquay Zoo Curator of Animals, said, “We are thrilled that our successful breeding of this handsome antelope continues. Our newest addition is settling in well and has recently taken her first steps into the outside world now that she is steady on her feet.”


3_nyala 2_

4_nyala 5Photo Credits: Newquay Zoo

Found across southern Africa, Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) breed throughout the year, although most young are born in the spring or autumn. The gestation period is seven months, with one or two calves being born.

Males and females of the species look quite different. The males have striking spiral horns, are slate grey to dark brown, and have up to 14 white stripes across the back. Females are a bright chestnut colour, with up to 18 distinct white stripes across their back.

As human settlements encroach into their territory, the main threats to the Nyala are poaching and habitat loss. With their elegant spiral horns, the males are also prized as trophy animals.

Newquay Zoo is now home to five Nyala, and visitors might spot them in the African Savanna exhibit.

For more information, go to: www.newquayzoo.org.uk   

5_nyala 7

6_nyala 3

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

! The first ring-tailed lemurs born in Chester Zoo’s new Madagascar zone cling onto their mums  (22)
Five endangered Ring-tailed Lemur babies - including two sets of twins - and the zoo’s first-ever baby Black Lemur, a species which is Vulnerable to Extinction in the wild in Madagascar, are the latest arrivals at Chester Zoo.

Born between mid-January and early March, each of the babies weighed less than a tennis ball at birth.

The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (7)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (7)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo

Lemurs are born with their adult markings. But because they spend most of their time riding “piggyback” on their mothers, the care team can’t yet tell if the babies are male or female.

Wild Lemurs are found only on the island of Madagascar. As a group, Lemurs are one of the planet’s highest conservation priorities.

Madagascar has already lost up to 90% of its forests, which means that many species living in these environments are now on the brink of extinction.

Dr. Nick Davis, Deputy Curator of Mammals, said, “Madagascar is a truly inspirational place; home to incredible, unique wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Yet we can report first-hand that we are on the brink of losing many of these species forever. Conserving Madagascar’s lemurs is urgent and critical. That’s why any birth is important, but to have six rare baby Lemurs born within weeks of each other is great news for the breeding programme.”

Chester Zoo has been working with Madagasikara Voakajy in the country’s Mangabe New Protected Area, in a bid to save the unique animals that live there.

See more baby Lemur pics below!

The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)
The first baby black lemur ever born at Chester Zoo (1)

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland


The staff at South Africa’s Cango Wildlife Ranch is celebrating the hatching of four critically endangered Radiated Tortoises. Known as one of the world’s most beautiful Tortoise species, Radiated Tortoises are under serious threat due to illegal capture for the pet trade and human consumption in their native Madagascar.

IMG_0156Photo Credit: Cango Wildlife Ranch

More than nine months ago, the hatchlings’ 78-year-old mother carefully excavated two holes and laid a total of six eggs in the holes. Four of those eggs finally hatched during the month of March.

The tiny hatchlings are receiving extra-special care at the facility. They are kept warm, with room temperatures between 77-82 degrees Fahrenheit. A cozy heat pad for cuddle time is kept at 104 degrees if the babies need a quick warm-up. Reptiles are ectothermic (cold-blooded), so they rely on their environment to maintain appropriate body temperatures.

Mealtime includes green beans, lettuces, hibiscus flowers, and other leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces.

Cango Wildlife Ranch Director Narinda Beukes is the PAAZA (Pan-African Association of Zoos and Aquaria) studbook manager for the Radiated Tortoise. This studbook lists the known parentage of all Radiated Tortoises in accredited African facilities. By using the studbook to pair unrelated animals for breeding, managers can ensure the greatest amount of genetic diversity in the zoo-dwelling population of these imperiled reptiles. 

See more photos of the hatchlings below.




Mr. Kirby

Apr. 11th, 2019 01:03 pm
[syndicated profile] englishmanintx_feed

Posted by Lawrence Burton

He was never really our cat, not exactly. We have a female cat called Kirby, soft, grey and stripey, who briefly went missing back in 2013. She eventually turned up, but as we'd been out and around the neighbourhood looking for her, we noticed a similar looking cat with the same sort of markings, same colour, same long tail. We'd approach the cat, notice his massive hairy nuts, and realise he wasn't our Kirby; and so someone, probably the kid, called him Mr. Kirby.

At some point, after feeding the cats in the morning, I took to leaving the bowls out on the back porch. I'd noticed a few strays hanging around, and it seemed like they might appreciate what cat food was left over when our own bunch felt like they'd had enough. Because feral or stray cat populations tend to stabilise under certain conditions, we ended up with a regular gang of four of five visitors stopping by our house for breakfast every morning - the B-Team as I thought of them. Unfortunately, our own cats sometimes scoffed the lot, and so I inevitably began to buy extra tins for the outside guys. I knew it would all be eaten, and I didn't like the thought of anyone going hungry.

Mr. Kirby of course became a regular.

He was a funny looking cat, and I didn't really know what to make of him at first. He wasn't hostile but neither was he overtly friendly, and he always seemed wary, as though deeply suspicious of whatever motives we might have for dishing up all that free grub. He put me in mind of the young William Burroughs being described by someone's father as a boy with the look of a sheep killing dog. He looked shifty, and I entertained the idea that he might even be William Burroughs reincarnated given that the late author would probably have quite liked to come back as a cat.

Mr. Kirby warmed to us as the years went past, and became such a fixture that he no longer quite seemed like a stray, more like some guy who just happened to live in our garden. We fed him and left out clean water every day. I even built a wooden shelter for the cold weather. Mr. Kirby sometimes wandered into our house, but he had a tendency to spray left, right and centre, so I tried to keep him outside when possible.

Eventually he became so accustomed to us that he would wait to be fed, then start up with his peculiar meow - more like the hooting and honking of a small furry goose - and we got to the stage at which I could pet him as he was eating. He was all muscle, very wiry, and he looked like he'd been in the wars. Had he been human he would have had tattoos, an eye-patch, and a Brooklyn accent. Contrary to the image, I never saw him have even a hissing confrontation with another cat, let alone a fight. If there was food in a bowl and several takers, the others would step back and simply wait for Mr. Kirby to finish without so much as a warning glare. I suspect it may have been something to do with his nuts, which were huge and impressive.

Sometimes he'd fail to turn up for breakfast, occasionally for three or four days, and then he'd be back on the fifth day, gaunt and ravenous having presumably spent the time trapped in somebody's garage; or he'd return with some terrifying injury or disability, a terrible limp, a seeping eye, or one side of his face swollen out of all proportion. On one occasion I attempted to catch him, to get him into a cat carrier so that we could take him to the vet, but he was stronger than me. It was like wrestling a fully grown man. Thankfully his injuries always seemed to clear up of their own accord.

More recently, I suppose you could say we became friends. He greeted me with his hooting meow, and would push his forehead into the palm of my hand when I petted him. He stopped marking the furniture when he came into our house, so I let him in from time to time. Now able to make a reasonably close inspection, I finally realised than he had a minor cut - albeit long since healed - at the outside edge of his left upper eyelid, meaning that when he looked at you, one eye seemed to be squinting, making him appear suspicious. Combined with the distinctive meow and his spotty belly, my wife and I guessed he had both Siamese and Bengal cats somewhere in his family tree.

About a month ago, maybe a little longer, he once again fell ill. He had terrible diarrhoea and a variable appetite, along with what looked like scabies, resulting in scabs and cuts on his head. I treated him for fleas, then added a deworming compound to his food, just in case. I changed the dry food left for the outside cats to a grain free variant, having learned that this is often better for cats with digestive problems. I rubbed an ointment onto his head when I could hoping to treat the scabies, which it did to an extent; and all through this he otherwise more or less seemed his normal happy self, except sometimes he seemed to be drinking a hell of a lot, and his appetite went through the roof - anything up to three tins a day which still left him looking somehow gaunt. I could tell something was wrong, but he was obviously an old cat, and it didn't seem like there was a lot else we could do because we simply can't afford the sort of vet's bills he would chalk up.

Then just a couple of days ago he went from bad to worse, not eating, not drinking, just sleeping most of the time. He would perk up intermittently, but it didn't seem to last. Next thing, I come home and he's laying on the porch in such a posture that I find myself checking to see if he's still breathing. He resembles a corpse and flies are buzzing around him. Over the next couple of hours he moves from one part of the porch to another, but always to end up slumped like a pile of bones. Gus II, another one of the strays, cuddles up to him, and it's breaking my fucking heart. I know he's not coming back this time. I guess that Gus II might also know this.

Bess comes home and we take Mr. Kirby in a box to the emergency veterinary clinic on Broadway. I can't stop crying. Mr. Kirby has somehow become a staple of my existence, and life without him hooting away each morning seems unthinkable.

The nurse gives him a sedative so that he won't feel what's coming next, although to be fair, it's difficult to tell whether he's truly been conscious during any of this. She then gives him something which stops his heart. I stroke him and cuddle him. I'm going to miss this cat so fucking much.

It's over. We did the right thing for him, much as it hurts, much as it feels as though we've let him down.

There's nothing much more to say, but no, he wasn't just a cat.

We're going to miss you, Mr. Kirby.

What a shitty day it has been.
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Nowa mieszkanka ZOO Wrocław - takin złoty

On March 12, a female Takin was born at Zoo Wrocław. The Zoo proudly shared that she is the first Golden Takin ever born in Poland!

Keepers have been observing a very good relationship between the new calf and her mother. “The mother is caring, and when we come near, she literally covers her calf with her body,” said Anna Rosiak, Zoo Wroclaw keeper.

The Zoo will continue to monitor the calf for the next month. After that, staff will make plans for the selection of a name for the new female Takin. Anna Rosiak shared that the name will relate to China (the native country for Takins) and it will start with the letter Z (same as the mother, Zhaoze).


3_nowa-mieszkanka-nasladuje-mame1553779511Photo Credits: ZOO Wroclaw

When the new calf reaches sexual maturity, she will go to another zoological garden to help strengthen a newly established or existing breeding herd.

Eleven zoological gardens currently participate in conservation breeding of the species, including Tokyo and San Diego. Four individual specimens arrived at Zoo Wroclaw in the summer of 2017: Xian, Johnny Woo, Won Yu and Zhaoze.

The Golden Takin (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) is an endangered goat-antelope, native to the Qin Mountains in the southern Shaanxi province of China. Golden Takins have unique adaptations that help them stay warm and dry during the bitter cold of winter in the rugged Himalayan Mountains.

The diet of this species consists mostly of grass, leaves, flowers, and bamboo shoots. They prefer to feed at dawn and dusk.

Their large, moose-like snout has large sinus cavities that heats inhaled air, preventing the loss of body heat during respiration. A thick, secondary coat is grown to keep out the cold of the winters and provide protection from the elements. Another protection is their oily skin. Although Golden Takins do not have skin glands, their skin secretes an oily, bitter-tasting substance that acts as a natural raincoat in storms and fog.

The species is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Deforestation, hunting and fragmentation of habitats are the biggest threat to them.

Doing Lines

Apr. 11th, 2019 08:47 am
bcholmes: (comics code authority)
[personal profile] bcholmes

This video is surprisingly practical for improving digital linework:

It reminds me a bit about how Ty taught inking: the first class was all about how to move your hand.

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

June 2018


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