Prague Zoo welcomes first pangolin born in Europe

The baby comes from a pair of pangolins sent to Prague last year from a zoo in Taiwan. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.02.2023 11:00:00 (updated on 03.02.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague Zoo welcomed a baby pangolin yesterday. The birth was a first not only for the zoo but also for all of Europe.

“We are extremely happy, but at the same time we are aware that the next few days may be critical,” Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said. The chances of the cub's survival should be quite high since the mother, named Run Hou Tang, has already successfully raised a cub, he added.

Two short-tailed pangolins – Run Hou Tang and a male named Guo Bao – came from Taiwan last April, making Prague only the second zoo in Europe to keep these highly endangered mammals.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said the birth of the was an important and endearing outcome of the city’s economic diplomacy. “We have rare pangolins in Prague only thanks to the close partnership with the Taiwanese city of Taipei, which we established three years ago," Hřib said.

Breeding pangolins is very demanding as the mother requires a special porridge made from the larvae of drone bees. The pregnancy had to be closely monitored, with ultrasound exams starting in the fourth month.

Run Hou Tang getting an ultrasound exam. Photo: Petr Hamerník
Run Hou Tang getting an ultrasound exam. Photo: Petr Hamerník

“We had a special bar made for Run Hou Tang to rest her front legs on during these examinations,” mammal breeder David Vala said.

The baby, which has not been named so far, is not yet on display. Prague Zoo promises to inform the public about the possibility of seeing the cub once details are known.

Pangolins are the most illegally traded mammals in the world, and Prague Zoo has been working to advance their protection in Africa and Asia.  

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