Meerkats, tortoises, gorillas and more in animal stories from around the world
This week, some happy meerkats and marmosets get an Easter treat, an 184-year-old tortoise gets his first bath, a baby gorilla and baby cheetahs are born after C-sections, and tourists seek out sea snakes, in animal stories from around the world.
Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park put bug filled painted unfertilized Ostrich eggs in their meerkats and marmosets enclosures ahead of Easter. By filling up the eggs with mealworms and bugs this provided an enrichment which is incredibly important when working with animals in captivity, it gives them something to play with and encourages natural behaviour such as foraging for food.
A 184-year-old giant tortoise took a bath this week on the island of St. Helena. The giant tortoise, named Jonathan, was given a wash in order to keep him looking his best for tourists. The tortoise is the oldest known living land animal on Earth and was called by the St. Helena Government a “creakingly old national treasure”. A veterinarian named Dr. Joe Hollins learned how to clean the tortoise using non-abrasive materials.
Some travellers are heading around the world in search of a very unusual travel experience – the most venomous snakes on earth. An academic has put together a database so people can travel in search of the famous sea krait. The snakes are more deadly than cobras, but generally do not bite humans. Travellers must head underwater in order to see the creatures.
A tiny gorilla – born by emergency C-section – is currently being cared for by keepers at the Bristol Zoo while her mother remains ill. The Western lowland gorilla was born after a very rare C-section as her mother was diagnosed with life-threatening pre-eclampsia. The animal is being hand-reared by staff at the zoo, which is inviting the public to help choose a name for the baby.
Five orphaned cheetah cubs lost their mother but gained a new friend in a companion dog named Blakely. The cubs were born at the Cincinnati Zoo in the US on 8 March after a C-section, but their mother died. The staff brought in an Australian shepherd named Blakely, who is the zoo’s resident nursery companion who serves as a nanny for the tiny animals.