London Zoo

Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY

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News Archive

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

London Zoo Details

Birth: July 2012

A pair of Greater Flamingo chicks called Wenlock and Mandeville have hatched.

Birth: July 2012

A brood of 76 Mountain Chicken Frogs, from just two females, have hatched. Once fully grown they will be released back into a protected and disease-free area of the wild, on the Island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Their parents were rescued and airlifted to London in order to develop a captive population of these critically endangered frogs that are threatened in the wild by the rapid spread of the Chytrid fungus, a disease fatal to most amphibians.

Birth: June 2012

Twin baby Slender Lorises have been born to parents Menika and Nehru, the second set of such twins at the Zoo this year.

Birth: May 2012

Some baby Mangrove Killifish have hatched.

Arrival: May 2012

A male Humboldt Penguin chick has arrived and is being hand-reared by keepers until he is ready to join the special Penguin nursery, and ultimately the 64-strong colony at Penguin Beach.

Birth: February 2012

Three different sets of twins have been born within days of each other, and all in the tropical rainforest exhibit: a pair of Cotton-top Tamarins to parents Sabi and Turbo; a pair of Slender Lorises to parents Samaya and Saman; and a pair of Giant Jumping Rats.

Birth: February 2012

A baby male Sulawesi Crested Macaque called Wira has been born to parents Wino and Gaston.

Arrival: December 2011

Four Reindeer called Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen have arrived, to take up residence in the new Reindeer Lodge exhibit.

Birth: November 2011

A baby male Francois Langur monkey called Flame has been born, and is being hand-reared by keepers following rejection by his mum, Lee Lee.

Arrival: 20 October 2011

A 10-year-old Burmese Python called Big Bertha has arrived, having been donated by a private collection. The new arrival is 17 feet long.

Birth: 1 September 2011

A baby Francois Langur monkey has been born, to first-time mum Lu Lu. Great news for this Critically Endangered species.

Birth: September 2011

A pair of Asian Lion cubs have been born, the second for parents Abi and Lucifer in 2 years. The cubs have been nicknamed Pumpkin and Spook until they can be sexed and given permanent names.

Update Dec 2011: The cubs are both female and have now been named Indi and Heidi.

Birth: 10 August 2011

Five baby Meerkats have been born

Birth: July 2011

A baby male Bolivian Squirrel Monkey called Rolo has been born, the fifth this year for dad Bounty and the 11th since his arrival 3 years ago.

Arrival: 17 May 2011

A pair of Penguins called Pippa and Polly have arrived from Whipsnade Zoo, to join others in what will ultimately become a 200-strong colony at the new Penguin pool, England's largest, which opens to the public on May 27.

Death: 14 May 2011

The infant Gorilla born only 7 months ago has sadly died. He was injured when a scuffle broke out among all of the Gorillas when he and his mother were introduced to the new silverback male for the second time. He was treated for a broken arm but when he was brought off anaesthetic he was unable to breath for himself. Despite repeated attempts at resuscitation he could not be revived; it is believed he also suffered internal injuries during the scuffle.

Birth: 24 April 2011

A Humboldt Penguin chick has hatched, and is being hand-reared by keepers. Once its sex is known (which requires a DNA test), it will be named either Will or Kate after the royal newlyweds.

Birth: April 2011

A baby White-naped Mangabey monkey called Hope has been born, to parents Bella and Lucky. The new arrival is the fourth baby for what is now Europe's most successful breeding group for this critically endangered species, one of the world's rarest primates.

Arrival: January 2011

800 juvenile Giant Clams have arrived, following confiscation by the UK Borders Agency; they were being imported illegally from the Cook Islands. Some of them will be kept for display to visitors, the rest will be passed on to other collections.

Birth: December 2010

Two female Slender Lorises (a type of nocturnal primate) have been born.

Birth: 26 October 2010

A baby male Western Lowland Gorilla has been born, to first-time mum Mjukuu.

Birth: September 2010

A total of 918 Short-snouted Seahorses have been born this year, and have now grown to the point that they are eating live food. Seahorses are notoriously difficult to breed, so this is a major achievement. The youngsters are being kept off-show, and once fully grown will be moved to various other collections around the UK as part of a captive breeding programme for this threatened species.

Birth: 21 August 2010

Two African Black-footed Penguin chicks, named Regents and Primrose, have hatched, and are being hand reared by keepers. After 10 weeks they will be integrated back into the group.

Arrival: August 2010

Kesho, an 11-year-old male Gorilla has arrived from Dublin Zoo, Ireland, to replace Yeboah who sadly died back in March.

Arrival: 28 June 2010

Kaboobie, a one-year-old male Bactrian Camel, has arrived from Whipsnade, to join the zoo's two resident females, Nadia and Noemie.

Arrival: April 2010

Marilyn, a Two-toed Sloth, has arrived from Holland to join Prince, the resident male, to replace his previous "mate" Sheila when it was discovered that "she" was actually also male!

Arrival: December 2009

Yeboah, a 12-year-old male Gorilla has arrived from Boissiere Du Dore Zoo in France. He will join the three resident females, Zaire, Effie and Jookie, to replace Bobby who died in 2008.

Birth: October 2009

A baby male White-Naped Mangabey called Paddy has been born, to parents Bella and Lucky. Great news for his species, which is one of the most endangered of primate species.

Birth: September 2009

A Victoria Crowned Pigeon chick has hatched, the first of its kind at the zoo and good news for the European breeding programme for this Vulnerable species..

Arrival: July 2009

Three giant Galapagos Tortoises have arrived, to take up residence in the new Giants of the Galapagos exhibit. The group consists of Dirk, a 70-year-old male, and females Dolly (16) and Dolores (14).

Birth: July 2009

A pair of baby Asian Lions have been born to parents Abi and Lucifer, the first in 10 years for London Zoo. Mother Abi was the last cub to be born at the zoo. Great news for this critically endangered species, with less than 300 left in the wild.

Birth: July 2009

A baby Slender Loris has been born, the first at the zoo for 13 years. The baby's sex is as yet unknown; it will be named Sam if male, or Maya if female in the meantime it has been named Samaya.

Birth: June 2009

A pair of Tawny Frogmouth chicks have hatched.

Birth: May 2009

Two baby Flamingos called Little and Large have been born, and are being hand-reared by keepers. Unfortunately they don't appear to like the colour pink, a fact discovered when they were introduced to a pink Flamingo puppet as part of the process of introducing them to solid foods.

Arrival: April 2009

A group of baby tropical White-Spotted Jellyfish have arrived from The Deep, Yorkshire to take up residence in the BUGS exhibit and hopefully breed in the future.

Arrival: April 2009

Four Burbot fish have arrived. This species is the only freshwater member of the Cod family, and became extinct in British waters in the 1970s.

Birth: April 2009

Two female baby Meerkats have been born and are being hand-reared by keepers after being abandoned by their mother. They will join the Animals in Action demonstrations once they are old enough.

Birth: March 2009

First time mum Martha the Meerkat has given birth to four babies. They will all be on show when the new Animal Adventure opens on 3 April.

Arrival: March 2009

A pair of young Aardvarks, called Misha (18 months) and Kiyo (1 year) have arrived, to take up residence in the new Animal Adventure (Children's Zoo). These are the first Aardvarks at the zoo in 18 years.

Birth: December 2008

A baby Black and White Colobus Monkey has been born. He has already been nicknamed Albert because he bears a striking resemblance to Albert Steptoe of the 1960s TV series Steptoe and Son.

Death: December 2008

Bobby (Bongo Junior) the 25-year-old silverback Gorilla has sadly passed away. He was found dead in his nest by his keepers during their morning check.

Birth: November 2008

Eight baby Rhino Rat Snakes have hatched, the first time this rare species has been bred in Europe. Three of the have already been moved to other European zoos.

Arrival: October 2008

Bounty, a male Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey, has arrived from a wildlife park in France, to join the existing group of 11 females in the `Meet the Monkeys' walkthrough exhibit.

Birth: May 2008

Three Burrowing Owl chicks, named Huey, Dewey and Lewey (although their sexes are not yet known), have been born. They are being hand-reared in the Zoo's incubation unit after being rescued from their burrow, which was threatened with flooding from heavy rain.

Birth: May 2008

A baby Warthog called Harry has been born to mum Aziza and dad Little Vern, the first at the zoo for nearly 100 years.

Arrival: April 2008

Mjukuu (Jookie), a nine-year-old female Gorilla, has arrived to join Bobby and two other females, Effie and Zaire in Gorilla Kingdom.

Birth: April 2008

A baby White-Naped Mangabey Monkey called Conchita has been born, only the second in the UK. Good news for this critically endangered species. She was to be born by emergency caesarean and her mother, Leonie, was too ill to bond with her in the first few days, so she is being hand-reared by keepers. It is hoped to re-introduce her to her mum, dad Lucky, and housemate Bella in their enclosure within about a month.

Birth: January 2008

A baby Red Titi Monkey called Vale has been born to parents Yara and Thiago.

Birth: January 2008

Two baby Gila Monsters have been born. However, they will be kept backstage until found new homes in other zoos as part of the European breeding programme for this species, which is under severe threat from loss of habitat and illegal hunting for the pet trade.

Birth: January 2008

Eleven baby Beaded Lizards have been born. However, they will be kept backstage until found new homes in other zoos as part of the European breeding programme for this vulnerable species.

Arrival: October 2007

A pair of Yellow-Footed Tortoises have arrived from Colchester Zoo. Called Victor and Margaret Meldrew in tribute to the tortoise in the One Foot In The Grave title sequence, they have taken up residence in the new Clore Rainforest Lookout exhibit.

Birth: October 2007

A baby Black-Tailed Marmoset has been born to parents Victoria and Albert. This is the first birth of this species at the zoo.

Birth: September 2007

Nine baby Utila Iguanas have been born. These are the first of the species, which is critically endangered and native to just the tiny island of Utila in the Caribbean, to be born at the zoo. However, they will be kept backstage until found new homes in other zoos as part of the European breeding programme.

Birth: August 2007

Twin baby Red River Hogs have been born to parents Salvador and Bahiti.

Birth: July 2007

Two Tawny Frogmouth chicks have hatched. Produced by different mothers, Rita and Tig, in separate enclosures, but laid on the same day after a particularly wet weekend, the chicks have been named Thunder and Storm.

Birth: 26 June 2007

Twin baby Alotran Gentle Lemurs have been born.

Birth: June 2007

Two White-Winged Wood Ducklings have hatched. The eggs were rescued from their parents' nests when the leepers realise that they were overdue, and then successfully hand-hatched. The species is Endangered due to habitat loss, and these chicks will be transferred to other zoos as part of the breeding programme when they reach adulthood.

Open: 29 March 2007

The new Gorilla Kingdom exhibit is now open. Visitors will be able to walk along a leafy path and through an aviary of African birds before coming to a `forest clearing' where they should get a great view of the colony of Western Lowland Gorillas. Black and White Colobus monkeys will also be in the trees above the Gorillas, and other African primates and reptiles will be on show in adjacent enclosures.

Arrival: 29 January 2007

ZSL has been awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to save a rare species of ant from imminent extinction in England. The Red-barbed Ant is on the brink of extinction in mainland Britain; only 1 colony (all males!) is left, in Surrey, with a few more in the Isles of Scilly. A small number of ants is to be taken into captivity at London Zoo to be bred for release back into the wild. The aim is for at least 40 nests to be reintroduced each year, at several nature reserves in Surrey.

Update: 21 December 2006

The four Komodo Dragons born in April have since been proved to be the result of a virgin birth! Sungai the mother had last mated more than two years before she laid eggs following her arrival from Thoiry Zoo, in France. It was then thought that she had stored the males sperm, but subsequent genetic fingerprinting has proved that no male was involved in the production of the eggs and resulting babies.

She has subsequently mated with London Zoo's male, Raja, and produced a single `normal' baby from a small clutch of eggs. The fact that Komodo Dragons can switch back and forth between asexual and sexual reproduction, depending on the availability of a mate, was previously unknown.

Birth: 30 October 2006

A male Socorro Dove has hatched, the first for the zoo for this species that has been extinct in the wild for over 30 years. There are also thought to be less the 100 in captivity.

Birth: 28 August 2006

Three Toco Toucan chicks have hatched, making the fourth time the zoo has bred these, the largest of the Toucan family.

Birth: 10 August 2006

Four Meerkat pups were born 2-3 weeks ago, and have now emerged from their burrow.

Escape: 31 July 2006

Betty the Squirrel Monkey, and a few others of her group, escaped into Regent's Park for a day, by means of tree branches overhanging the Meet the Monkeys enclosure. The others soon returned following encouragement by keepers, but Betty remained in the Park, only returning when it got dark. The offending branches were then quickly removed.

Arrival: 18 July 2006

Dicky the new male Okapi, who arrived from Chester Zoo this month as part of a European Breeding Programme, has now been introduced to the zoo's existing female, Elila.

Birth: 11 May 2006

Two Madagascar Teal ducklings hatched two weeks ago, and can be seen with their parents in the African Bird Safari walk-through exhibit. The species is endangered, with fewer than 1000 in the wild.

Birth: 26 April 2006

Four baby Komodo Dragons have hatched. Sungai, their mother, arrived from Thoiry Zoo, France, in early 2005, and laid her eggs in August.

Open: 13 April 2006

The new `Into Africa' exhibit is now open, with new animals such as Zebra, African Hunting Dogs, and Warthogs. The enclosures feature glass viewing areas, periscopes, and observation windows, to allow visitors to get eye-to-eye with the animals.

Birth: 5 April 2006

The zoo's rare and critically endangered Alaotran Gentle Lemurs have given birth to twins.

Birth: 6 March 2006

Baby Egyptian Tortoise hatched. The species is almost extinct in the wild and difficult to breed in captivity. The baby will not be on show for about a year, until it is old enough to join the existing group of 8 tortoises.

Birth: 21 February 2006

Seven rare baby Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizards have been born, the first for the zoo, and only the third time in a UK zoo. Only three UK zoos hold this venomous species, which is classified as vulnerable in the wild, and therefore the subject of an international breeding programme.


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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