At the start of July, two African ground squirrels or Xerini were born at Basel Zoo. These regularly leave their burrow and can be seen in the Etoscha house. To protect themselves against the sun, they bend their bushy tails forwards over their head to place themselves in the shade.
Thursday 16 July saw a gorilla born at Basel Zoo at midday. This is the third child for mother Faddama (32). It will take a few days to establish whether the new arrival is a boy or a girl, and then it will be given a name. The baby gorilla is the second child for father M’Tongé, who came to Basel Zoo at the end of the summer in 2014. Joas (26) gave birth to a little boy on 19 May of this year. Before this, Basel Zoo had not seen any gorilla births for ten years.
Baby lions have been born at Basel Zoo: these three (still nameless) little ones came into the world behind the scenes on 28 May and 15 June. Okoa (13) was the first mother to bear two cubs, followed two weeks later by a baby for Uma (13). Both mothers gave birth to their young in the same whelping box and are also taking care of them together. The lion population in the wild has declined significantly in recent years, and so a breeding programme has been established by European zoos with Basel Zoo as a participant. Basel Zoo also supports a project to protect lions in Kenya.