Picture of the Week 46 – Brothers

This week’s picture is of three Hyacinth Macaw brothers at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

About Hyacinth Macaws:
The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length of about 100 cm (3.3 ft) it is the largest macaw and the largest flying parrot species. Habitat loss and trapping wild birds for the pet trade has taken a heavy toll on their population in the wild, and as a result the species is classified as endangered. In the 1980s, it is estimated that at least 10,000 birds were
taken from the wild. The Nashville Zoo is involved in Hyacinth Macaw conservation. (Species Survial Plan SSP).

For more Hyacinth pictures go to  www.sperka.biz/macaw

Picture of the Week 45 – Warm Up

This week’s picture is of four Cheetah cubs looking straight into my camera at sunrise on a cold winter morning.

The picture was taken at on Mziki Marsh, my favorite area on Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

About Cheetahs:
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only cat with semi-retractable claws. Cheetahs achieve by far the fastest land speed of any living animal – between 110 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and have the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.

Females give birth after a gestation period of ninety to ninety-eight days. The average  litter size is three to five. Cubs are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle. This gives them a Mohawk-type appearance. This fur is shed as the cheetah grows older. It has been speculated this mane gives a Cheetah cub the appearance of the honey badger, to scare away potential aggressors. Cubs leave their mother between thirteen and twenty months after birth. Life span is up to twelve years in the wild, but up to twenty years in captivity. Unlike males, adult females are  solitary and tend to avoid each other.

For more Cheetah pictures go to www.sperka.biz/cheetah

Picture of the Week 43 – Halloween

This week’s picture is of a small Tamandua at Nashville Zoo celebrating Halloween with a giant pumpkin 🙂

Enjoy the picture!

About Tamanduas:
Tamandua is a genus of anteaters. It has two members: the Southern Tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) and the Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana). They live in forests and grasslands and possess partially prehensile tails. They mainly eat ants and termites. In captivity, they will eat fruits and meat. They have no teeth and depend on their powerful gizzard to break down their food. Besides the tamanduas, there are two other anteaters, the Giant Anteater and the Silky Anteater. Tamanduas are much smaller than the Giant Anteater, but are larger than the Silky Anteater. The word tamanduá is Tupi for “anteater”, and in Tupi and Portuguese refers to anteaters in general. The tamandua is called in those languages tamanduá-mirim (mirim means “small”).

Excellent Care!

  Nashville Zoo at Grassmere and Christian Sperka Photography present …

Excellent Care! An exhibition of images showing veterinarian care in a zoo environment

Picture: Monitoring by Christian Sperka
Invitation to the Nashville First Saturday Gallery Crawl – November 5, 2011
A very special exhibition awaits you at the Animal Art Photography Gallery on November 5, 2011 (at the First Saturday Gallery Crawl).
I have selected images documenting the excellent veterinarian animal care at the Nashville Zoo. Many of these – never before published – images were taken at procedures behind the scenes at the zoo.
Dr. Heather Robertson, Senior Veterinarian at the Nashville Zoo, will talk about the work of the vet staff in a short presentation (at 6:30pm, 7:15pm, 8:15pm and 9:00pm). She and other members of the Nashville Zoo staff will be there all evening to answer your questions.
A special guest, one of the over 2000 patients of Dr.Robertson, will make her appearance (together with her animal keeper).
Do not miss this exhibition of fascinating images!
When: Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (Nashville First Saturday Gallery Crawl)
Where: Christian Sperka Photography & Animal Art Photography Gallery at the Arcade in Downtown Nashville (between Church and Union / 4th and 5th Avenue – )
I am looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Best regards – Christian

Picture: Hold on by Christian Sperka

Picture of the Week 41 – Heavy Ride

This week’s picture is of Giant Anteaters at Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The “little one” is still riding on his mom’s back, even if he is not so little any more :-). The young male weighs already over 30 pounds. He was born on April 24, 2011. Tiana and Mochila reside in the Giant Anteater (off-exhibit) breeding facility at the Nashville Zoo.

Enjoy the picture!

About Giant Anteaters:
The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, is the largest species of anteater. It is found in Central and South America from Honduras to northern Argentina. It is a solitary animal, found in many habitats, including grasslands, forests and rainforests. It feeds mainly on ants and termites, sometimes up to 30,000 insects in a single day.

The giant anteater is one of few mammals without any teeth. An anteater crushes insects it consumes using hard growths found on the inside of its mouth. They have an average body temperature of 32.7C, which is one of the lowest of all land-living mammals. It grows to a size of up to 7 feet (2.1 m) in length. It weighs from 65 to 140 pounds (29 to 64 kg).

It bears a single offspring after a gestation period of 190 days, which will stay near the mother until she becomes pregnant again. The baby spends much of the first part of its life riding on its mother’s back, until it is nearly half her size. Females give birth standing up and the newborn anteater immediately climbs onto her back. Young are born with a
full coat of hair and adult-like markings.

More Giant Anteater Pictures at www.sperka.biz/anteater