Happy birthday, Šiška! Prague Zoo's baby pangolin turns one

The first pangolin born in Europe turned one year old on February 2, and Prague Zoo is celebrating with a weekend dedicated to young Šiška.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 03.02.2024 14:59:00 (updated on 03.02.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague Zoo is marking a significant milestone this weekend as Šiška, the very first pangolin born in Europe, turned one year old on February 2. To celebrate the occasion, the zoo is hosting a special weekend program including guided feedings through Sunday.

Last February, Šiška made headlines worldwide after becoming the first pangolin born in Europe at Prague Zoo, to parents who came from Taiwan. Despite some initial scares, Šiška has not only thrived at Prague Zoo but become a symbol of hope and awareness for her wild counterparts, facing threats from illegal hunting and trade.

Šiška faced a challenging start in life due to insufficient milk from her mother. Ultimately, she overcame the hurdles with the help of lactation support products and artificial feeding. Today, she weighs over three kilograms and lives independently in her own exhibit, showcasing her nest-building skills and tree-climbing prowess.

To celebrate her first birthday, Prague Zoo has organized a special program for the weekend, inviting visitors to observe Šiška during a guided birthday feeding at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the pangolin enclosure in the zoo's Indonesian Jungle pavilion.

Director Miroslav Bobek expressed pride in Šiška's role as the first European-bred pangolin and her impact as an ambassador for her species.

"Thanks to public interest, she has become an 'ambassador' for wild pangolins, helping to spread awareness of the threat to this group of animals by illegal hunting and trade," Bobek stated in a press release. He added that renowned primatologist Jane Goodall sent a toast dedicated to Šiška, acknowledging her role in raising awareness.

Šiška's parents, Run Hou Tang and Guo Bao, have successfully mated again, raising hopes for another addition to the pangolin family. Prague Zoo, the only Czech zoo to house these scaly mammals, plays a crucial role in their conservation. Pangolins face extensive hunting and illegal trade in Africa and Asia, making breeding programs essential for their survival.

As a birthday wish for Šiška, Prague Zoo encourages support for the protection of her wild relatives. People can contribute via direct donations to the zoo's conservation initiative or by purchasing souvenirs from a dedicated section in the zoo's e-shop. A visit to Prague Zoo also provides an opportunity to witness Šiška's vibrant and independent life firsthand.

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