Belfast Zoo

Antrim Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT36 7PN

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News Archive

Below are the news reports for Belfast Zoo, covering significant events concerning the animal collection, such as births, arrivals, departures, and deaths.

Belfast Zoo Details

Birth: 13 June 2012

A female Rothschild's Giraffe calf has been born, to mum Niamh and dad Finn (his first).

Arrival: 4 May 2012

Ten Great White Pelican chicks have arrived from Pairi Daiza Zoo, Belgium. They are off-show while they are hand-reared. Once this is completed, 5 of them will be swapped with other unrelated birds from London Zoo.

Birth: 3 April 2012

Baby Capybara twins called Gus and Jacques have been born, to parents Charlie and Lola.

Birth: 23 March 2012

Two baby Eastern Bongos have been born: Bo was born on 24 February, to mum Fern, and Bert was born on 14 March, to mum Willa. Embu, the resident male, is the father of both calves. Belfast Zoo is home to one of the largest and most successful breeding herds in the UK, with a total of 10 Bongos; indeed, there are currently only two larger herds in Europe. The zoo has welcomed over 22 calves since 2005, which have since been sent to zoos across the UK and Europe as part of the international breeding programme for this critically endangered species.

Birth: 17 March 2012

A baby female Chimpanzee called Lucy has been born, to experienced mum Lizzie and dad Andy. She is also the first Chimpanzee birth at the zoo since 1997.

Arrival: 5 March 2012

A group of 40 Gentoo Penguins have arrived from Edinburgh Zoo, bringing Belfast's flock to a total of 61. The new arrivals are on temporary loan while their home enclosure is refurbished; they will return to Edinburgh at the end of the breeding season, once the chicks are weaned and their home is ready.

The zoo's Humboldt Penguins are also soon to leave, going to the Fota (Cork) and Cotswold Wildlife Parks as part of the European breeding programme.

Birth: 4 March 2012

Marjorie, a female Malayan Tapir calf, has been born, to parents Gladys and Elmer who have welcomed 11 babies since their arrival in 1994 (Gladys) and 1995 (Elmer).

Birth: 2 March 2012

Twin African Pygmy Goat kids have been born, to parents Edmund and Hannah.

Arrival: 15 February 2012

A pair of Giant Anteaters have arrived, to form the only pair in Ireland. Named Pancho and Kara, they have come from Duisburg and Halle Zoos in Germany as part of the European breeding programme.

Birth: 6 February 2012

Georgie, a baby female Vicuna, has been born to parents Douglas and Colonia. Vicunas are the smallest member of the Camel family, and look similar to Llamas.

Arrival: 20 October 2011

Indera, a male Malayan Sun Bear, has arrived from the Rare Species Conservation Centre in Kent. He was born in Singapore Zoo in 2010 and joins the resident female Bora.

Birth: 12 October 2011

Mickey and Minnie, two baby African Pygmy Hedgehogs, have been born to parents Tom and Geri.

Birth: August 2011

A baby Black and White Colobus Monkey has been born, as have a pair of Pygmy Marmoset twins.

Birth: July 2011

Maya, a baby Red Titi Monkey, has been born to parents Inca and Aztec, their first.

Birth: June 2011

Four baby Meerkats have been born, to mum Fraggle.

Birth: June 2011

Baby Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (a type of ground squirrel) have been born. It is not yet known exactly how many babies there are as they do not emerge from their burrow until around 6 weeks old.

Birth: June 2011

Maleah and Malu, a pair of baby Visayan Warty Pigs, have been born to parents Malcolm and Mabel, their first piglets since their arrival from Chester and Rotterdam Zoos in March/April last year. Great news for this Critically Endangered species, which is threatened by deforestation and hunting for meat in their native Philippine islands.

Birth: May 2011

A total of 6 Ring-Tailed Lemur babies have been born; mothers Mo and Dot both gave birth to twins, named Gretl and Gimli, and Gremlin and Gizmo respectively, while Jewel and Ringo gave birth to one baby each. All of the mother were themsleves born at Belfast Zoo; Elton is the father to all 6 and arrived in 2009 from Whipsnade Zoo.

Birth: May 2011

A total of three Eastern Bongo calves have been born. Mothers Willa and Fern gave birth to Maggie and Ruby in April, while Kimbiri gave birth to May, in May! Embu, the resident male, is father to all three.

Birth: 5 April 2011

Pequeno, a baby Southern Pudu (the smallest of the Deer family) has been born.

Birth: April 2011

A Red Kangaroo joey called Boom (short for Boomerang) has been born, to mum Dancer and dad Randalph. It is estimated that the new arrival is about 7 months old, and its sex won't be known until it is weaned at about 1 year old and becomes more independent.

Arrival: 18 March 2011

Three Red-backed Bearded Saki Monkeys, a male and two females, have arrived from a captive breeding centre in Guyana.

Arrival: March 2011

A pair of Pancake Tortoises, one male and one female, have arrived from Edinburgh Zoo.

Arrival: March 2011

A female Andean (or Spectacled) Bear called Alice has arrived from South Lakes Wild Animal Park and joins Spook the resident male in the hope that they will form a new breeding pair for this highly endangered species.

Death: 25 February 2011

Kukuma, the male Western Lowland Gorilla, has sadly died. He was showing signs of ill health for several weeks, and was found to be anaemic. Further problems developed, however, and the results of an autopsy are awaited to confirm the cause of his death. He was born in 1989 in Apenheul Pimate Park in The Netherlands, and arrived in Belfast in 1993 as part of the global breeding programme.

Arrival: February 2011

Three young Rothschild's Giraffes have arrived: Daisy, a 2-year-old female, has come from Givskud Zoo in Denmark; Sandsteen (Sandy), also a 2-year-old female, has come from Dublin Zoo; and Finn, a 3-year-old male, has come from Fota Wildlife Park, Cork. The new arrivals bring the Belfast herd to a total of 9.

Birth: 15 January 2011

Linoa and Andry, the Crowned Sifakas, have given birth to a baby boy called Echo. Great news for this Critically Endangered species, for which numbers are so low in the wild that exact figures are unknown. This is also the last breeding pair in the British Isles and they are on loan from the Madagascan government. The new arrival brings Belfast's group total to 5.

Birth: 10 January 2011

Recent births at the zoo farm include 7 piglets to parents Lady and Napoleon on 7 November, Dee Dee, a baby African Pygmy Goat, to parents Edmund and Hannah on 18 November, and the 2010 births were completed by the arrival of Brooke, a female Miniature Donkey, for parents Miss Ellie and Dylan on 29 December.

Arrival: November 2010

Kinbalu, a female Sumatran Tiger, has arrived from Fuengirola Zoo, Malaga. She will join Kabus, the resident male, in the hope that they will form a successful breeding pair, once she has settled in.

Update, February 2011: The two tigers have now been successfully introduced to each other and can be seen in their hillside enclosure.

Birth: 17 July 2010

A baby female Grant's Zebra has been born to mum Ellen. She has been named Izzy.

Birth: 14 July 2010

Two baby monkeys have been born this week: a Black and White Colobus and a Lion-Tailed Macaque. Both are great news for these endangered species.

Birth: July 2010

Five baby Meerkats have been born.

Arrival: 30 June 2010

A pair of Smooth-Coated Otters have arrived, from a rare species conservation centre in Kent. Belfast is only the second zoo outside Asia to care for this endangered species.

Arrival: 28 May 2010

A pair of Toco Toucans have arrived.

Birth: May 2010

Lady, the Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig, has given birth to a litter of 8 piglets.

Birth: May 2010

A pair of Ring-Tailed Lemur twins have been born, to first time mum Ringo.

Arrival: May 2010

A pair of Red Titi Monkeys have arrived, from Blackpool and London Zoos, to form a new breeding pair as part of the European breeding programme for this species. The male is called Aztec and the female is called Inca.

Arrival: April 2010

A pair of Visayan Warty Pigs called Malcolm and Mabel have arrived, to form a new breeding pair as part of the breeding programme for this Critically Endangered species, the most endangered of all pigs.

Depart: April 2010

Boulas the silverback Western Lowland Gorilla has moved to Twycross Zoo as part of the European breeding programme. His departure should allow the younger Gugas to become the silverback for the Gorilla group, and hopefully produce young in the future.

Death: April 2010

Minky the female Andean Bear has sadly passed away. At 21 she was one of the oldest of her species in European zoos, and the combination of her old age and a malignant tumour were responsible for her death.

Birth: April 2010

A baby Eastern Bongo has been born, to parents Fern and Embu. Great news for this Critically Endangered species, which has less than 140 left in the wild. The baby has been named Eggbert.

Arrival: 11 February 2010

A pair of Pygmy Goats have arrived, to take up residence in the farm area of the zoo.

Birth: January 2010

Two more baby Meerkats have been born.

Birth: December 2009

Two Red Kangaroo joeys have been born, and have now emerged from their mother's pouches, where they've been for about the past 235 days. The mums, Darling and Ruby, arrived from Paris in January. The joeys have been named Dancer and Prancer, and their father is Randalph.

Arrival: October 2009

A male Sumatran Tiger called Kabus has arrived from Chessington Zoo, where he was born 19 months ago. He should be joined by a female next year to form a new breeding pair for the European breeding programme for this Critically Endangered species.

Death: 13 August 2009

The baby Moloch Gibbon, who had been named Haja and born only a month ago, has sadly died. Her mother's milk dried up as a result of a short illness and the keepers took over hand rearing her, which unfortunately turned out to be insufficient; baby Gibbons are extremely dependant on their mother for the first few months.

Depart: 5 August 2009

Lily the Barbary Lion, who was born at the zoo in 2007, has moved to Hodonin Zoo in the Czech Republic, hopefully to form a new breeding pair with their 4-year-old Simon.

Lily's brother Boris also recently moved to Olomouc Zoo, Czech Republic, to join Simon's sister Buzetta.

Birth: August 2009

Three baby Meerkats have been born.

Birth: August 2009

A baby Southern Pudu Deer called Caju has been born, the first in Ireland. Great news for this endangered species, which is threatened by habitat loss.

Birth: July 2009

A baby Malayan Tapir has been born. Good news for this endangered species, with less than 3000 left in the wild and about 150 in zoos worldwide.

Birth: July 2009

Twin baby Emperor Tamarins have been born.

Birth: July 2009

A baby Moloch Gibbon has been born to experienced parents Assini and Omar. Good news for this endangered species, with only about 2500 left in the wild and only 8 zoos care for the species. They are threatened by habitat loss: only about 4% of their original habitat remains.

Birth: July 2009

A baby Miniature Donkey called Megan has been born, to parents Miss Ellie and Dylan.

Birth: 25 June 2009

A baby female Zebra called Ember has been born to mum Ellen

Birth: June 2009

Three Californian Sea Lion pups have been born, to mothers Stella, Holly and Ariel, and Dad Wesley.

Snickers, who was born in 2007, has also moved to Rotterdam Zoo as part of the European breeding programme.

Death: May 2009

Jack the 17-year-old white Tiger has sadly had to be put to sleep as a result of rapidly deteriorating health, including weight loss and growth of a tumour on his neck..

Arrival: 4 April 2009

Two Asian Elephants, called Jenny and Dhunja, have arrived from Hannover Zoo, Germany. They are now too old to breed and have come to Belfast to retire from the large breeding herd at Hannover.

Arrival: April 2009

A Giant Anteater has arrived from Edinburgh Zoo. A Capybara has also arrived.

Arrival: February 2009

An Asian Elephant called Yhetto has arrived from Krefeld Zoo, Germany.

Birth: 28 October 2008

An Eastern Bongo called Bozo has been born, to mum Willa and father Embu, bringing the number at the zoo to 8. Good news for this endangered species, with only about 75-140 left in the wild.

Birth: July 2008

Two baby Red River Hogs, called Saffron and Scarlet, have been born.

Birth: June 2008

Births this month include:

A Penguin called Mumble,

A Shetland Pony called Junior

Three Sea Lion pups, called Liquorice, Fudge and Cinamon.

Birth: March 2008

A baby Sifaka (a type of Lemur) called Arthur has been born, the first in the UK.

Birth: January 2008

A baby Emperor Tamarin called Alex has been born.

Birth: January 2008

Three baby Agoutis have been born.

Arrival: Winter 2008

Recent arrivals include:

White-Nosed Coatis from a zoo in the Netherlands

Three Black-Footed Cats

Birth: November 2007

A baby Colobus Monkey has been born.

Birth: November 2007

A baby Miniature Donkey has been born.

Birth: November 2007

A baby Javan Brown Langur (monkey) has been born.

Birth: November 2007

Two more Barbary Lion cubs, called Boris and Charlie, have been born, to mum Fidda and dad Qays. Unlike their sister, Lily, who was rejected by Fidda soon after birth earlier this year, the two cubs are being well looked after by their mum. Their births, coming so soon after the birth of their sister, are extremely good news for the species, which is extinct in the wild.

Birth: October 2007

A baby Malayan Tapir called Pi has been born.

Birth: September 2007

Three baby Eastern Bongos have been born, in August and September.

Birth: August 2007

Three baby Rothschild's Giraffes have been born, on July 23 and 26, and August 15. Called Sallagh, Cotton, and Moon, they have all been named after Northern Irish towns that begin with `Bally'. The zoo's Giraffes are part of a successful European Breeding Programme; Belfast Zoo alone has celebrated 28 births in 12 years.

Birth: July 2007

A baby Lion-Tailed Macaque called Ripple has been born.

Birth: 3 June 2007

A baby Barbary Lion called Lily has been born. She was unfortunately rejected by her mother soon after birth, and has since been hand-reared. Barbary Lions are extinct in the wild, and there are less than 100 in zoos worldwide (about 40 of them in Europe), so this birth is very good news for the species.

Birth: June 2007

A baby Sea Lion called Snickers has been born.

Birth: March 2007

Twin baby Lemurs called Antanana and Rivo have been born.

Birth: February 2007

A baby Purple-Faced Langur called Len has been born.

Birth: September 2006

Two Crowned Crane chicks, Barney and Betty, born to parents Fred and Wilma. Only 5 other zoos in Europe have bred this species.

Birth: 30 August 2006

Baby miniature Mediterranean donkey born.

Arrival: 19 July 2006

Official opening of Moloch Gibbon house. The family of 4 Moloch Gibbons recently arrived from Howletts Wild Animal Park.

Birth: 25 June 2006

Baby Shetland Pnoy, Peaches, born.

Birth: 2 June 2006

Two baby California Sea Lions born, to two separate mothers.

Birth: April 2006

Baby Black & White Ruffed Lemur `Humbug' born.

Birth: Spring 2006

Two baby Ring-tailed Lemurs born in March and May. A third is expected in June.

Birth: February 2006

Baby Malayan Tapir born

Arrival: January 2006

Two Barn Owls arrived.

Arrival: December 2005

Two Maned Wolves arrived from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey.

Arrival: 11 August 2005

Official opening of the refurbished lion house, now home to 3 Barbary lions (1 male, 2 females) recently arrived from Port Lympne Zoo.


Where possible, the dates given are for the event itself, but some zoos do not make this information available, when the date of announcement is used instead.

Seasons: Winter = Jan - Mar, Spring = Apr - Jun, Summer = Jul - Sept, Autumn = Oct - Dec.

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