Baby animals are GuZoo?s favorite form of public education. We have a large breeding program at our zoo involving many different species of animal. Many of our babies are taken from their natural mothers from a very young age and hand raised by ourselves or members of our staff.
Question : Why take the babies from their natural mothers?
Answer: For many reasons; first and foremost we take the babies from their mothers so the babies can bond to humans. To learn more about this process click here. In this way we can safely allow the public the opportunity to handle young exotic animals.
Reason number two lies in the simple fact that animals born in captivity are destined to remain in captivity. Once you can acknowledge this fact it makes sense to want to raise an animal that is going to be comfortable as a captive. When wild animals are bottle raised they grow to accept humans as one of their own. As the babies mature they never forget that humans are a source of food and affection. As a captive animal they are going to have to tolerate human intrusion on a daily basis for times of feeding and cleaning. A bottle raised animal can look forward to this time as they see humans as friends or at the very least, as a non-threat. ON the contrary, a captive born animal who is allowed to be raised by its natural mother will always see humans as a threatening intruder. This can make daily feedings and cage cleanings very stressful for the animal.
Reason three for taking babies from their moms and hand raising them is for marketability. As much as we would like to, we can?t keep all the babies we raise. Other zoos are often looking for new animals or new breeding stock to freshen up their breeding program. When we are contact by other facilities that are looking for animals, most of them want hand raised animals. So to increase a young animals potential for re-homing in a timely manner, it is necessary to bottle raise them.