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Spectacled bear arrives at Chester Zoo for breeding

A new spectacled bear called Lima has arrived at Chester Zoo ahead of plans to breed her with Chester’s male bear Bernardo.

Two-year-old Lima has moved from a zoo in northern France after experts carefully matched her with Bernardo.

The 'spectacled' bears have light rings of fur around their eyes. Credit: Chester Zoo
Two-year-old Lima has moved from a zoo in northern France. Credit: Chester Zoo
Females weigh up to 84kg, males up to about 150kg. Credit: Chester Zoo

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New effort by Chester Zoo to save rare lizard

A Sand Lizard. Credit: Chester Zoo

Keepers from Chester Zoo have travelled to North Wales in a bid to save a species of rare lizard which is thought extinct in the country.

The Sand Lizards have been released on sand dunes in Talacre in a bid to create a population.

Chester Zoo staff release the lizards. Credit: Chester Zoo

The Sand Lizards - an endangered UK species - were bred at a number of specialist breeding centres, including Chester Zoo, during the summer.

The species has gone through major decline due to habitat loss, with their coastal dune and heathland habitats becoming increasingly fragmented by agricultural expansion and building developments.

But it's hoped the captive breeding and reintroduction programme will help the lizards to make a comeback.

Chester Zoo staff get to business saving the Sand Lizard. Credit: Chester Zoo

Watch Chester Zoo's video about the lizard programme below:

Moment endangered ducks hatch captured

The moment a rare duck hatched at Chester Zoo, has been captured by experts.

The Bare's pochard is critically endangered, with as few as 30 thought to be living in the wild. There's some facts about the birds below the video.

  • The Baer’s pochard is a diving duck found in eastern Asia. It spends the summer in southeast Russia and northeast China, migrating in winter to southern China, Vietnam, Japan and India.
  • The species breeds in the wild on marshy ponds in southeast Russia and northeast China, migrating in winter to southern China, Vietnam, Japan, and India
  • They dive up to a depth of 2 m to hunt aquatic insects, molluscs, shrimps and fishes. They also eat algae, aquatic plants and seeds, especially during winter
  • Chester Zoo is one of the few one of the few institutions in Europe to currently work with this rare diving duck
  • The species is listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered. They are threatened due to habitat loss, illegal poisoning and trapping

Rare ducklings 'perilously close' to extinction

Chester Zoo is celebrating the arrival of 30 Bare's pochard ducklings, but warning the birds could soon be extinvt

Curator of Birds Andrew Owen said: “We’re perilously close to losing this species in the wild and that’s why our recent hatchlings are very, very important indeed.

"They’re without doubt some of the rarest ducks in the world.

“Thirty Baer’s pochards have been bred here this breeding season and whilst it’s good news in the sense that it’s a record for us, rather frighteningly, there may only be similar numbers left in the wild.”

Rare ducks hatch at Chester Zoo

Thirty rare duck chicks have hatched at Chester Zoo. The zoo's 30 chicks could be as many as are left in the wild in the rest of the world.

The ducks are critically endangered in the wild Credit: Chester Zoo

The Baer’s pochard ducklings are listed by the International Union for the Conservation Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered as a result of hunting and loss of their habitat in Siberia and eastern Asia where they were once commonly found in their tens of thousands.

Experts fear just a few individuals are now left and the species could soon vanish altogether in the wild.

The 30 at the zoo could equal the number left in the wild Credit: Chester Zoo
The ducks hatched in an incubator Credit: Chester Zoo

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Panda cubs born at Chester Zoo

A Red Panda in it's keeper's arms. Credit: Chester Zoo

A pair of rare red panda cubs have been born at Chester Zoo.

The cubs - and their mother - have been given the once over by keepers and alls well.

News of their birth broke when keepers were alerted to their arrival after hearing “little squeaks” from a nest box.

The twins, a boy and a girl, were born to first-time mum Nima and dad Jung but keepers have only now been able to get a good look at them for the first time.

New mum, Nima. Credit: Chester Zoo

“Our two cubs are in very good shape.

"They’re big and strong with very thick fur - our male weighed in at just under 1kg and our female 842g.

"We’re really pleased with how well they’re doing and, as soon as we had given them a health check, we popped them back into their nest.

"It’ll be several weeks until they start to emerge and explore.”

– Maxine Bradley, keeper at Chester Zoo
One of the Red Panda cub twins. Credit: Chester Zoo

Red pandas, whose scientific name Ailurus fulgens means ‘brilliant cat’, are native to the steep forested slopes of the Himalayas.

They are a one-of-a-kind in the animal kingdom as they have no close living relatives. Conservation experts have listed them as endangered in the wild, as they are threatened by poaching and shrinking habitat.

Red Panda dad Jung. Credit: Chester Zoo
Red Panda cub. Credit: Chester Zoo

Watch the panda parents below:

Chester Zoo very pleased to hog top award

Zoo hogs top award Credit: PA

Chester Zoo is thrilled to have been named one of the world's top zoos. It's the best in the UK, second in Europe and sixth in the world.

“This is the first time we’ve won this award and we’re very, very pleased indeed – particularly as it’s voted for by those working in the travel industry who have been to the zoo, experienced what we have to offer and cast their vote on the back of their visit.

“The zoo is constantly evolving and offering visitors something different to see and experience. "

– Marketing Officer Julie Griffin

Chester Zoo head and shoulders above the rest

Head and shoulders above the rest: Millie the giraffe Credit: PA

Chester Zoo has been voted best zoo in the UK, according to reviews from global travellers.

It's home to eleven- thousand animals from more than four- hundred species.

It came second- best in Europe and sixth best in the world in tables just released by Trip Advisor.

Baby lemur is zoo first

New arrival at Chester Zoo

A lemur from a species threatened with extinction has been born at Chester Zoo.

It's the first of its kind to be born there and zoo keepers are still unsure of its sex.

In the wild it's only found at a lake in Madagascar and its natural habitat is being destroyed. Only 2,500 are thought to remain there.

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said: "Both mum and dad are doing a great job of bringing up their new charge. Mum is super protective and dad is also pulling his weight - he occasionally helps to do some of the carrying.

"This is a critically endangered species. They face a very real threat of extinction in the wild and this is the first time the species has ever bred at Chester Zoo."

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