With all the babies the Memphis Zoo welcomed in 2017, it’s very clear that we have some lovey dovey couples here on exhibit. In honor of Valentine’s Day, let us introduce a few of our dynamic duos.
Binti <3 Uzazi
Binti, a female, and Uzazi, a male, gave us the most popular baby animal at the Memphis Zoo on March 23, 2017. Can you guess who it is? If you guessed Winnie the hippo, you are correct! The proud parents came to the Memphis Zoo from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and have adjusted nicely to their new home in Zambezi River Hippo Camp.
Hippos have a very rich history at the Memphis Zoo with a lineage dating back to their first arrival in 1914. Back in the day, a hippo named “Adonis” fathered 25 calves during his time in Memphis, dubbing Memphis the “Hippo Capital of the World.”
Marilyn <3 Sparky
I hope Marilyn and Sparky are on social media because their baby, Lua, is quite the celebrity! On March 17, mom and dad gave us the first Linné two-toed sloth born at the Memphis Zoo. The parents, which were wild-caught and thus, are genetically valuable, both arrived at the Zoo in 2003. Linné’s, or Southern, two-toed sloths have called the Memphis Zoo home since 1945.
Because Marilyn had birthed babies that did not survive infancy in the past, Lua was hand reared by our staff. She is now on exhibit in the Animals of the Night exhibit. She is a must-see!
Akili <3 Niklas <3 Wendy <3 Niklas <3 Angela Kate
What a tangled web we weave over in the African Veldt Exhibit. On April 3, Akili and Niklas welcomed a baby reticulated giraffe named Bogey. The infant was named in honor of Steve Bogardy, a long-time Memphis zookeeper, who passed away in 2017. Fast forward to July 12, and another bundle of joy came along. Wakati is the female calf of Wendy and, of course, Niklas. One month and one day later, a baby girl named Panya joined the herd. Her parents? Angela Kate and Niklas!
The Memphis Zoo’s giraffe herd now sits at 10 individuals. Between 1995 and 2006, Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Angela Kate, Panya’s mother, was the first giraffe calf born at the Memphis Zoo in a decade, when she was born in 2006.
Next time you’re at the Memphis Zoo, try to pick out these power couples! Snap a photo and share it with us on social media by tagging @MemphisZoo.