It was born before four o’clock in the morning, weighs 135 grams and resembles a living spruce cone. The first Pangolin pup to come into the world not only at Prague Zoo, but throughout Europe.
“We are very happy, but at the same time we realize that the next days may be critical,” warns Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek. “However, the female Run Hou Tang, which we received from Taipei Zoo, has already successfully bred the cub, so the chances of survival of the cub should be quite high.”
The adult pangolins, a female Run Hou Tang and a male named Guo Bao were acquired by Prague Zoo from Taiwan last April. It became the second zoo in Europe to breed these bizarre and highly endangered mammals.
“The birth of a small pangolin in Prague Zoo is an important and endearing fruit of diplomacy. We have rare pangolins in Prague only thanks to a close partnership with the Taiwanese metropolis of Taipei, which we established three years ago,” says Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague.
Breeding pangolins is very demanding, it is necessary, among other things, to prepare a special mash for them, the basic component of which are the larvae of bee drones. Run Hou Tang’s pregnancy was also closely monitored.
“From the fourth month of gestation, we have been doing regular ultrasound examinations of Run Hou Tang,” says breeder David Vala. “That’s why we had a special trapeze made, which Run Hou Tang leaned on with her front legs during these examinations.”
Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammals in the world and Zoo Prague advocates for their protection both in Africa and Asia. Prague Zoo will continuously inform about the possibility of seeing the current pub.
Foto 1: A baby short-tailed pangolin was born in Prague Zoo in the early morning hours of Thursday. It is the first ever baby pangolin in Europe. Photo Miroslav Bobek, Prague Zoo
Photo 2: Ultrasound examination of the female Run Hou Tang took place on a specially made trapeze on which the female could comfortably lean on. Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo
Photo 3: The female Run Hou Tang has been living in Prague Zoo together with the male Guo Bao since last April. Photo Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo