Dwarf Mongoose Pups Born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill.—The Chicago Zoological Society is happy to announce the birth of two litters of dwarf mongoose pups at Brookfield Zoo. The litters, born on September 12 and November 24, include three males and four unsexed puppies respectively. Guests visiting the zoo can see the family in the Habitat Africa! The Savannah exhibit.

These are the first litters for the mom, Tavi, 3. The sire of the offspring is Gimbi, 13. The pairing of the two was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Dwarf Mongoose Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited AZA zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently, 12 accredited zoos in North America exhibit the species. Brookfield Zoo has had dwarf mongooses since 1993, the year Habitat Africa! opened.

Mongoose pups are born with their eyes closed; they open when they are about 13 days old. Mongooses are very gregarious and have a highly cooperative society with well-developed social roles. There is one dominant female and male in a group as well as subordinate males and older offspring. The subordinate males and older offspring usually help care for the younger pups in the group. Puppies begin to play fight after their eyes open. This is practice for when they are older and need to defend their own territories. In the wild, mongooses are found in the dry open savannahs, woodlands, and brush of Africa and use underground den sites in the roots of trees or termite mounds for shelter and to give birth.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

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