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Taipei Zoo introduces newborn pangolin

2011/01/03 19:10:53

Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) The Taipei Zoo's program to keep and breedpangolins, an animal notoriously difficult to maintain in captivity,has scored another success as a pangolin born recently there is doingwell, the zoo said Monday.

The baby pangolin, the fourth ever born in captivity at the zoo,was born on Dec. 9, 2010 and now weighs 260 grams, compared with 105grams at birth, said zoo director Jason Yeh in a statement.

Yeh said much of the zoo's success can be attributed to itsspecial formula of feeds, consisting of apples, egg yolks, mealwormsand bee pupae, developed after one of the four pangolins born at thezoo died in 2004 after having trouble adjusting from milk to feed.

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, forage with their longand sticky tongues, with ants and termites their major food, butreproducing the natural diets in captivity has been problematic.

Yeh said zoos around the world attempted to keep the animal inthe 1970s, but they failed because of problems finding appropriatefeeds.

He did not anticipate having similar problems with the babypangolin, which at present is doing little other than sleeping,feeding on milk and occasionally climbing on the back of its mother.

The toothless pup was found by zoo staffers last month in a holeits mother made after they tried to move her to a heated room duringa cold front.

The scaly animals are vulnerable to the cold, Yeh said. Whentemperatures fall below 25 degrees Celsius, they tend to shiver anddevelop runny noses.

(By Chen Hung-chin and Kendra Lin)