More than a dozen adorable animals -- from groundhogs to emu chicks to lambs -- were recently born at the Staten Island Zoo, and zoo officials say as many as 30 more are on the way.
The zoo says three groundhog pups -- two females and one male -- were born on the first day of spring. They're kits of the zoo's weather hog, Staten Island Chuck, and weigh about a pound each.
Earlier last month, the zoo welcomed two emu chicks. Emus are the largest bird native to Australia and the second-largest bird in the world by height; they can grow to be 6 feet tall. Flightless like their parents, the emu chicks have longitudinal stripes, camouflage when in the wild.
Seven lambs also now call the Staten Island Zoo home. Mainly black in color, the month-old lambs are active and inquisitive, yet under the watchful eyes of the rest of the herd.
With about 30 eggs still incubating from multiple species, two new Swinhoe Pheasants hatched April 20 and are growing in the controlled environment of the Zoo’s nursery. This species of pheasant is native to Taiwan.
Three Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnakes have been born in the Zoo’s Reptile Wing, where they are now in the care of the Zoo’s skilled herpetology staff. Most common in Florida, they are venomous, but usually not life-threatening. While three have been live born, reptile keepers believe that one or perhaps two more may still emerge. Currently about four inches long, these snakes can grow as long as a foot and a half.
The Zoo plans to hold a “baby shower” on June 1 to celebrate the newborns, all of which are on exhibit now. For more information on zoo hours, click here.