Zookeeper Petra has her hands full with three newborn jaguar cubs. They must have their first weight check, but she can’t keep them on the scales. And tapir mother Ronja is about to give birth to her first baby. Every successful birth is good news for the Zoo.
Having your first photograph taken is not a happy event for two new armadillo babies, but Dimas, the Asian elephant takes his first bath and loves it, although his big sister is not amused. And indoors, mother and baby orang-utans let their keeper get the closest yet.
Zoos are also centres for breeding rare or endangered species. Today, a rare litter of four Asian bearcats are being examined, most of them are developing well, but the tiny female is not thriving. In the aquarium, Marco is breeding Lake Victoria ciclids hoping to return them to their native lake; and Reimon is working with endangered apes in the orang-utan enclosure.
Not everything goes to plan when working with animals. Normally, South American tapirs love water, but newborn Maja hates the water hose. Three baby jaguar cubs are exploring their outdoor enclosure for the first time, but one of them is not impressed, and in the elephant enclosure, baby elephant Thuza cannot understand a word her keeper is saying.
Often, the zookeepers must keep the animals indoors. The meerkats have been split up to avoid fights, one group kept inside; the jaguarundis are indoors today waiting for the vet, and in the elephant enclosure everyone is waiting for the doors to open – they’ve been stuck inside for two weeks.
It’s a hectic day in Berlin. Black panther cubs, Larisa and Sipura examine their new outdoor enclosure and don’t like the look of sand; the nocturnal fishing cats get a rude awakening, and there is a most undignified examination taking place with the red pandas.
Every day is a new zoo baby day. In the reptile house, the latest batch of tortoises are hatching – they need to be measured, and weighed; there is a rare birth in the okapi enclosure, but things are not going well. And outside, the hyena pack has two new family members.
There are problems for some of the animals. The giant anteater cannot support her new baby. The keepers have to step in to ensure the newborn survives. In the llama enclosure, an adult female gives birth in front of the keepers, but the baby cannot stand. And there is a cuddly ball of fluff keeping the bear keepers busy.
Knowing your animal and how to handle a zoo baby is all part of the skill of being a zookeeper. The skunks have given birth to a record litter of 10, and their keepers take it slowly handling them. Outside, Ruben carries out a dental check on bonobo baby Likemba, the skill here is getting her to come close and keeping her there; and in the rhino compound, Carsten is keeping his distance from mud-loving Maburi.
Today there are new experiences for the zoo babies. The springhare rejected by its mother gets to bounce freely outside its feeding box; Asian elephant Koraya practises her latest move so her keeper can cut her toenails and the newest baby in the reindeer herd is christened.
A new day at Berlin Zoo and Berlin Animal Park. Dimas the year old elephant learns a new and obviously tricky command. He knows there’s a reward. The keepers steal a few secret moments with the new sunbear cub. And the springhare family get new and extremely nosey neighbours.
Snatching a quick cuddle with caracal kittens is one of the perks of the job for Berlin’s zookeepers. In the alpaca paddock, close bonds are formed between zoo juniors and their keepers. and mum. And the bush dogs are a bundle of furry fun. But only when the keepers’ job is complete.
There are new introductions and old relationships feeling the strain in Berlin today. The woolly pigs are meeting dad. Family relations have broken down in the black lemur enclosure. A new baby has come between mum and dad. And in the elk compound, there have been new arrivals and a long absence. Family life is never smooth. even for Zoo Juniors.
Growing up in any family has its trials and tribulations. If you’re a meerkat baby, you risk being smothered with love. If you’re an elephant, school begins at just two years old. It’s a daily chore learning to be a proper Zoo Junior. And if you’re a baby howler monkey, you’ll be taking life with mum. one small step at a time.
Life for the Berlin Zoo Juniors is like any kindergarten. Some children appear perfect angel. They look cute and impeccably behaved. Until the keepers’ backs are turned. And others play rough until their tummies tell them it’s time for lunch. They’re just typical youngsters who need love and attention.
The sun is shining and it looks like paradise in Berlin today, but it’s going to be a big scary day out for these capybara babies. Miniature donkey Carlos has had a bad experience with his keepers – he’s sticking close to mum. And South African spring hare babies, Mia and Manuel have unexpected visitors.
Today behind the scenes at the zoo, it’s close encounters of the cat kind for these two cubs. This Bongo antelope calf enjoys the privacy of his own enclosure with mum to fend off the paparazzi. And American black bear cub Fargo practises the latest craze in gym workouts.
Nervous in front of the cameras, the shy caracal family is in for a treat today. It will be a breath of fresh air after 11 weeks inside. In the reindeer enclosure, there’s a baby boom. Six calves in 10 days, And counting. And there’s little protest from this happy pig – proud mum of 11 purebred piglets.
It’s not always easy being a zoo baby. Being adopted and not by one of your own species can make for a different type of childhood. Being spoiled by both parents can lead a young Orang utan to take liberties. And having a wayward mum can prove frustrating if all you want from her is her milk.
Every day there’s something new to learn at the Zoo – how to rugby tackle a keeper. or the spinning capacities of an old coconut. There are experiments in who’s the fastest. Are two legs really better than four. And if you’re a South American bush dog, you can learn all about the great outdoors. If you’re the adventurous one in the family.
Today in Berlin, the tables are turned in the leopard cub enclosure. The threatened and rare species is making life difficult for the humans Outside; a litter of piglets have their keeper surrounded. And deep in the city, a lone wolf cub prowls, Protected by the pack.
Berlin is full of young animals learning new skills. How to fish, how to climb and how to defend one’s self. Even against your own sister. The sea lions are being taught manors and tricks to perform in public. But the lion twins are natural performers. All they need to learn is how to be nice to their humans.
There are new Zoo Juniors every day in Berlin. But a mother’s love isn’t always guaranteed. No matter how cute you are. Some zoo Juniors are “only children” with very protective relations. And others have to fend off the boisterous appetites of their family to ensure they get their share of zoo treats.
There are many tales to tell at the Zoo and the long and the short of it is, You have to learn to stand on your own four feet. When relations back home are threatened, you have to do your bit to raise awareness to save your species. And if mum is nervous about letting you out to play, it’s best to stick together and not attract unwanted attention.
You can’t beat life as a Zoo Junior. Berlin has 5 star spa facilities to meet even the toughest species’ desires. There are sweet treats in store for mother and cub in the sun bears’ exclusive accommodation. And outside in the spacious grounds, the South American guanacos get their first experience of Berlin hospitality.
A mother’s love is every baby’s desire. For the lemurs, that means mum scares off all the males to have her baby to herself. For Rhino mum Betty, love means the next two years dedicated to raising her latest calf. But if you’re a long eared goat twin, winning mum’s love is a constant struggle. Mum has a favourite and it’s going to be a long hard battle for this Zoo Junior to win her over.
In Berlin today, a new sea lion pup is on display. She looks like she’ll be a real performer. In the big cat house, two tiny bear cats get a well deserved treat. They’ve struggled to thrive, but now they’ll be piling on the calories. And in the nocturnal house, an orphaned aardvark receives more care and attention than the average Zoo Junior normally gets.
Every day provides new treats when you’re a Zoo Junior. The young fishing cats get a taste of red meat. The new giraffe calves have great expectations for their first trip beyond the stable yard. And the Red Husum pigs have exhausted their mother. So they’re moving on to hot meals instead of milk.
Zoo life has lots of advantages. You get to play with relations you never knew you had. Your keepers might turn out to be naughty school boys. And try to get you into trouble with mum. And life can be a blissful round of climbing and eating. Experienced Zoo Juniors take it all in their stride.
Every Zoo Junior is precious. Some are born with special status like this Shetland pony foal. Others are royalty in their keepers eyes and enjoy treats beyond their dreams. And some like these dromedary camels are literally worth their weight in gold. They’re all aristocrats of the zoo world in their own way.