PRAGUE (AP) – A Chinese pangolin has been born in the Prague zoo, the first birth of the critically endangered animal in captivity in Europe, and is doing well after initial troubles, the park said on Thursday.
For the first few days after the baby female was born on February 2, park keepers were worried because it was losing weight.
The reason was found to be that the mother, Run Hou Tang, didn’t have enough milk. Following consultations with experts from Taiwan, a programme of artificial feeding with milk from a cat was introduced and the mother was stimulated to produce more of her own.
That turned things around, with the zoo now expressing cautious optimism about the pup, which still has no name but has been nicknamed ‘Little Cone’ because it resembles a spruce cone.
“We have only overcome the first hurdle and others are still waiting for us,” Zoo Director Miroslav Bobek said.
The baby’s birth weight was just 135 grammes. Adults can reach up to 15 pounds. The Chinese pangolin is native to southern China and southeastern Asia and is one of the four pangolin species living in Asia, while another four can be found in Africa.
Prague received the rare animal from Taiwan last year, becoming only the second European zoo to keep the species.