Summing it up: how Moscow Zoo collection has changed in 2018


The outgoing year was full of important events and changes. The collection of our zoo has been replenished with many interesting species, and now it has more than 1,200 species and 10,618 specimens.

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It is also necessary to note the positive dynamics in the birth rate: in 2018 many zoo inhabitants have produced offspring, including such rare ones as the Kaffir horned crow, the monkey Diana, the Szechuan takin. High birth rates indicate that animals are kept in proper conditions, receive complete care and a balanced diet.

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In this regard, an important victory for the zoo specialists was the offspring production of the earless Kalimantan monitor lizard, the rarest reptile, which had never been bred before in the world zoo practice. This fact is important for the entire zoological community, as Moscow zoo herpetologists have managed to document the entire process of preparing for the cubs breeding. In the future, employees of other zoological organizations will be able to rely on this experience. Besides that, it can play a decisive role in creating a reserve population of the Kalimantan earless lizard and saving this unique species from complete extinction.

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Also over the past year we have managed to get offspring from Eastern crowned cranes, Dalmatian pelicans, bearded tits, Japanese macaques, lowland gorillas, Eastern European lynxes, musk oxen, alpacas, cat lemurs, armadillos. Great joy was the birth of the Northern fur seal, which occurred for the first time in 20 years.

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The offspring of the Guinean turacoes has been obtained for the first time. Furthermore, the cubs appeared from Kirk's dik-diks (3 specimens), beavers (4 cubs), thick-tailed galagos (2 specimens), Bengal lorys (2 specimens), Chacoan maras (1 cub), peacocks (7 specimens), Stanley’s cranes (1 nestling) and others.

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The real “champions” became East Caucasian turs (9 cubs were born in spring and summer), boggy goats (whose group was replenished with seven new members), flamingos — these bright birds hatched 11 chicks and 14 chicks appeared from black swans.

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Moreover, the weeper capuchins, Diana monkeys and Bornean orangutans became the parents of the only cub.

In Moscow zoo reproduction center of rare species a lot of cubs were born as well, including Sichuan takin and kiang. It is especially worth noting the successful reproduction of animal rare species on which Moscow zoo participates in international environmental programs: Siberian white crane, Japanese crane, Steller's sea eagle, white-tailed eagle, wolverine and forest reindeer. A significant event was the offspring from the Far Eastern leopard Nickolai, rescued from nature, where he had suffered as a kitten at the hands of poachers. After a long preparation it was coupled with the female recommended by the coordinator of the European program for this species. The animals have accepted each other, the pairing went well and as a result, two kittens were born in June. These cubs have become the first offspring obtained from the natural leopard in the last 60 years. Their birth is of enormous importance for the conservation of the Far Eastern leopard and the creation of a reserve genetically diverse population of this species in captivity. An interesting event is the successful artificial insemination of the female black-necked crane, which was not able to make a pair with any male. Two chicks were produced and bred by employees.

However, the year 2018 was remembered not only by a decent birth rate: the zoo managed to get many rare species from other foreign and domestic zoological organizations. Thus, for the first time in 30 years a rare South African secretary bird reappeared in the collection. The male who came from the French ornithological park has already fully mastered his enclosure in the "House of birds" and got used to the visitors attention. Also the variety of birds was supplemented with the crested      curassows and gray-winged trumpeters – rare representatives of Latin America fauna; recently blue dacnis, green, blue and purple honeycreepers were brought to the zoo. Our guests will be able to see these birds in the new year, when the birds will be quarantined and adapt to life in a new place.

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Moreover, for the first time in more than half a century a Far Eastern forest cat appeared in the zoo collection. The 6 months old female actively inhabits and explores the enclosure at the exposition "Fauna of Russia". Despite the natural secrecy of the predator, you can admire it almost every day during special demonstration feedings. Another highlight was the arrival of the Papuan penguins: at the very beginning of the year they were brought from Germany, now the penguins are perfectly adapted to the new house, got used to the employees caring for them and to the public attention: they often delight visitors with demonstration swims and spectacular jumps into the water.

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"The year 2018 was full of active and productive work. We are glad that we managed to get offspring from many zoo inhabitants, as well as to replenish its collection with new animals. All of this is the best motivation to continue to work next year, to improve the keeping conditions of our inhabitants, to bring all new species to the exhibition. It is very important that the residents and guests of the capital have the opportunity to admire the diversity of the Earth's fauna, to get acquainted with it in all its glory. Only in this way we will be able to impart as many people as possible a careful attitude to nature and awareness of their responsibility for the future of each individual species", - Moscow zoo CEO Svetlana Akulova said.