Lee Richardson Zoo has welcomed some new baby animals and said goodbye to some old friends in recent weeks.
The zoo has announced the successful hatching of a Lady Ross’ Turaco. The chick hatched on Aug. 25 and is the first successful hatch of its kind at the zoo.
According to the zoo, the hatch is even more exceptional because of the parents. The mother of the hatchling is the second oldest Lady Ross’ Turaco in the country at age 24, and the father is 2 1/2 years old. This is their first breeding season together.
The new Lady Ross’ Turaco currently can be seen moving about the flight from the walkway outside the habitat. The flight is temporarily closed to zoo guests while the fledgling learns how to move about successfully.
The red panda cubs, which were born Aug. 12 and all determined to be male, are doing well, according to the zoo. Ember, the mother, and her cubs are expected to start taking outside strolls in late October or early November. Until then, video footage of the cubs is available on the zoo’s website, Facebook page, YouTube and local city channel 8.
Zoo staff also are mourning the recent deaths of Mark and Cheyenee, the zoo's male and female elk. Mark died Sept. 13 at age 17, and Cheyenne was euthanized on Sept. 16 at the age of 23. Necropsies showed the male’s death was due to heart and liver failure while the female had a strangulating intestinal mass. Wild elk ave an average lifespan of 8 to 13 years, according to the zoo.
More sad news came Tuesday, when zoo staff staff discovered that Daisy, a red-bellied spider monkey, died during the night. Daisy, at age 34, had well exceeded the life expectancy for a spider monkey, which is 24.4 years, according to the zoo.
Daisy died from post-surgical complications following a procedure performed Saturday. It was the third surgery in 5 1/2 years to remove an abdominal bezoar, which is a tightly packed mass of indigestible or partially digested material found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Daisy had been at Lee Richardson Zoo for 31 years. Bruno, Daisy’s companion of 14 years, still resides the zoo.