February 03, 2011

ZooBorns! Cute Baby Wild Animals! Hi Horse Pals, I wanted to tell you all about this really great site! It is called ZooBorns! It shows you all the baby animals born at zoos from around the world! It is very cool. You can see many different types of animal babies that you may have never seen before! Here is a great post from ZooBorns: The seven Lion cubs born at the National Zoo are now sporting seven names. Just before the cubs made their debut in the Lion yard yesterday morning, the Zoo announced their names: John, Fahari, Zuri, Lelie, Baruti, Aslan and Lusaka. “We were touched to receive so many thoughtful name suggestions for the cubs from so many different sources,” said Dennis Kelly, director of the Zoo. “Each of the seven final names has a special meaning or connection that the cubs will carry with them during their time here at the National Zoo.” Photo credits: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo More [PHOTOS] below the fold... The names of Shera’s cubs, which were born Aug. 31, are: John: The sole male in the litter is named after John Berry, who was the Zoo’s director from 2006 to early 2009 and is currently director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Berry helped to bring the cub’s mother Shera, aunt Nababiep and father Luke to the Zoo in 2006. Fahari (fah-HAH-ree): The National Zoo advisory board chose Fahari, which means “magnificent” in Swahili, for this cub. Keepers say that early in life she was the big eater among both litters and for a long time was larger than all of the other cubs, including her brother. Although that has changed recently, keepers are confident that she will continue to be bigger than life. Zuri (ZUH-ree): The Friends of the National Zoo board chose the name Zuri for this female cub. Zuri means “beautiful” in Swahili. The lion keepers say it is a fitting name for a cub whose coat is thicker, plusher and redder than the others in the pride. Lelie (la-LEE-ay): Lelie is the winning female name submitted by a first-grade classroom at Marshall Elementary School in Manassas, Va., in the Name a Cub: Cam Contest, which the Zoo hosted with the Washington Post. Lelie is Afrikaans for “lily,” and the students selected it because lilies are common at Kruger Park, which is the largest national park in South Africa and provides refuge to about 2,000 African lions. The names of Nababieps cubs, which were born Sept. 22, are: Baruti (ba-ROO-tee): Baruti is the winning male name submitted by a daycare class at Bright Horizons Child Care & Education at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., in the Name a Cub: Cam Contest. Baruti is an African name meaning “teacher,” which the class thought was appropriate for a lion that keepers describe as “quiet” and “calm.” Aslan: This cub received his name Dec. 10, when Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes, actors in The Chronicles of Narnia movies, visited the Zoo to reveal that...
The Water Horse ~ The Hippopotamuses Hi Horse Pals ~ Here's my latest newspaper article. Aren't these hippos too cute? @raya Fact #1 Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the "river horse." Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes! However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows. Their eyes and nostrils are located high on their heads, which allows them to see and breathe while mostly submerged in water. Fact #2 Amazingly agile for their bulk, hippos are good climbers and often traverse rather steep banks each night to graze on grass. They exit and enter the water at the same spots and graze for four to five hours each night in loop patterns, covering one or two miles, with extended forays up to five miles. Their modest appetites are due to their sedentary life, which does not require high outputs of energy. Fact #3 At sunset, hippopotamuses leave the water and travel overland to graze. They may travel 6 miles in a night, along single-file pathways, to consume some 80 pounds of grass. Considering their enormous size, a hippo's food intake is relatively low. If threatened on land hippos may run for the water—they can match a human's speed for short distances. Fact #4 Hippos are efficient grazers - their lips are almost two feet wide! Fact #5 The tusk-like incisors and canines grow continuously. They are ivory, valued even more highly than an elephant’s because they do not turn yellow with age. Fact #6 With very thick skin, especially over the back and rump, the grayish-brown body is almost completely hairless, with only a few bristles around the mouth and the tip of the tail. The hippo has neither sweat nor sebaceous glands but does have unique glands that produce a viscous red fluid, leading to the myth that hippos "sweat blood." Fact #7 Two hippo species are found in Africa. The large hippo, found in East Africa, occurs south of the Sahara. This social, group-living mammal is so numerous in some areas that "cropping" schemes are used to control populations that have become larger than the habitat can sustain. The other, much smaller (440 to 605 pounds) species of hippo is the pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis). Limited to very restricted ranges in West Africa, it is a shy, solitary forest dweller, and now rare. Fact #8 Hippo calves weigh nearly 100 pounds at birth and can suckle on land or underwater by closing their ears and nostrils. Each female has only one calf every two years. Soon after birth, mother and young join schools that provide some protection against crocodiles, lions, and hyenas. Fact #9 A single young is born either on land or in shallow water. In water, the mother helps...

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Araya and Avery are young equestrians and entrepreneurs with a passion for life!

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