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In a fertile 2016, 60 new residents at Mérida zoos

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For the first time in 10 years, a flamingo has been more in captivity in Mérida. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — It was a very fertile 2016 at city’s two public zoos, officials announced at year’s end.

In all, 90 new animals representing 24 different species were born or hatched at El Centenario and the Animaya, said Luis Jorge Montalvo Duarte, director of municipal public services.

In the historic “Centennial” zoo, 48 new tenants arrived: pink flamingos, among them, a titi monkey, an ocelot, macaws, a peacock, deer, llama and a collared peccary, which is a rainforest animal related to the pig family.

The Animaya gained 42 animals including a parrot, tortoise, black-necked antelope, and red and white deer.

Some in-captivity births are more easily achieved than others. Odeisi Mora Camacho, technical coordinator of the Centenario Zoo, said the flamingos’ and the monkeys’ little miracle ended a 10-year dry spell for those species.

That’s especially notable because the flamingo and monkey exhibits are two of the zoos’ most popular.

Success was possible thanks to some remodeling that allowed for proper conditions.  

Claudia Ham Vega, a biologist at Animaya, explained that the parrots’ success in producing offspring is very important because it is an endangered species.

Encouraging zoo occupants to reproduce isn’t left to chance. As conservation centers, the zoos monitor both females and males to help things along.

In addition, she added, they are given vitamins and minerals when in heat or during their traditional mating season.

In both zoos, the technical staff — trained by biologists and veterinarians — provides adequate food, proper temperature and humidity, and above all, preventive medicines for optimum animal health. 

Each species has its own set of demands. Deer, for example, have a three-month window each year. And spider monkeys give birth no more than every three or four years.

The municipal zoos invite the public to come and meet their new tenants.

Source: Press release

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