ABOUT 650 animals are being bred at Bratislava Zoo and last year the zoo recorded a baby boom. “The most recent newborn is a giraffe named Miss Salome, who will surely be popular with visitors,” Katarína Matejovičová of the zoo’s marketing department told the TASR newswire. Salome was born on December 4, 2011, to her parents Tejla, age 13, and Batar, age 14.
Matejovičová said young animals at the zoo are always popular among visitors. In 2011, the zoo celebrated the births of big cats, common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), a pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) and a Chapman’s zebra (Equus quagga). She noted that the youngest visitors to the zoo were most pleased with a newborn Vietnam warty piglet, also known as a Heude’s pig (Sus bucculentus), and offspring of pygmy goats that originate in the Cameroon Valley of West Africa. She added that this baby boom brought the zoo the biggest number of visitors ever – 33,661 – but noted “we have no means of planning new births for this year as it’s in nature’s hands”.
Bratislava Zoo is open year-round and all animals can be seen during the winter, except for exotic birds that are moved to a warmer place. But Matejovičová said that the weather can influence animals’ behaviour and generally they are less active in winter, preferring to stay in the heated interior areas.
The zoo has already announced several special events for 2012 such as Birds’ Day, Bratislava for All, Children’s Day, the European Night of Bats, and World Animal Day, as well as a day for sponsors of animals and an opportunity for children to pet some of the animals on St Nicholas’ Day.