Furry Friday: Spring Babies at the Dakota Zoo

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It’s furry Friday – and today, we get to check out even more furry creatures than usual!
Emily Medalen is live at the zoo to show us what’s new this year.

Good morning Tim and Amber, I have to say, I had so much fun at the zoo.

There are so many beautiful animals – and more are on the way!
I spoke with the Zoo Director about how they plan for babies – big and small.

Spring is known for 2 things – nicer weather, and new life.
Both of which the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck are welcoming with open arms.


“Everyone’s got a little bit of cabin fever, so come on down, it’s a great time to walk around,” said Rod Fried, Asst. Zoo Director.

Last week, the zoo gained 2 new members – a baby bison was born last Friday, and a baby marmoset monkey – you can see him on his mom’s back in this shot – born last week as well.
But how much does the zoo have to regulate who breeds, and who doesn’t?
Fried says that they work with other zoo’s in the U.S., along with species survival programs to decide.

“Everybody likes baby animals, but we’re not going to raise Grizzly Bears here at the zoo, because there’s not a need, because there’s orphaned bears come up that do not have homes..” said Fried.

He says they will place a male and female of a species together during breeding season if that species needs to be represented more largely in other places.

“We don’t look for a home before these animals are born, there’s already a spot for them to go,” said Fried.

Fried added that there are various methods to prevent pregnancy in the animals that they need to, each year.

“Forms of birth control, for some animals, whether it be implants, or just keeping the animals separate during the breeding season,” said Fried.
 
The zoo is expecting a donkey to be born within the next few months, and more calves may be on the way as well.
Fried says everyone should make time to see what’s new with our furry friends this summer.

Come down and see something like tigers, or grizzly bears or camels. For a lot of young kids, this is the first time they’re exposed to some of these animals that they don’t normally see,” said Fried.

Fried says they don’t know the gender yet.
Workers haven’t gotten close enough to the baby to tell, because it’s parents are still so protective.
 

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