by Max Brantley
The Little Rock Zoo announces that some recent newborns are now old enough to be on display at the zoo — four particularly lovely naked mole rats (no photo currently available) and five bush dogs, shown above.
PS — Baby naked mole rats are undoubtedly FAR lovelier, but behold a Wikipedia photo of the adult:
Several youngsters were added to the Little Rock Zoo family recently with the birth of four naked mole rats and five bush dogs. The young are now available for public viewing.
About the Mole Rats:
A queen emerged from the Zoo’s colony and gave birth to the four naked mole rats. Found only in parts of East Africa, mole rats organize much the same way that ant colonies do with members of the colony taking on specific roles assigned to them by the queen. Only the queen is allowed to breed and she selects her mate from a variety of choices. If any other mole rat tries to breed without her permission, she typically kills them. This curious mating and organizational behavior makes births in mole rat colonies rare making this birth particularly interesting.
The naked mole rat babies were no larger than the size of a fingernail when they were born. The colony was taken off exhibit after the arrival of the babies so that the colony could adjust to the change without the interruption of outside noise. The babies are larger now and the colony has adjusted well to the change and is now on exhibit in the African Outpost.
About the Bush Dogs:
A litter of five bush dogs was born last month and can now be seen at the bush dog exhibit located near the Zoo’s bear exhibit. The bush dogs were born on Easter Day and are named Lily, Peep, Cadbury, Eggbert and Jesús. They are a species normally found in Central and South America. The animal is a close relative of the maned wolf and is the only living species in its genus Speothos. The bush dog young reside with their parents and spend time playing in the exhibit with one another and mom and dad.