Brooklyn’s Prospect Park re-opens with adorable baby animals

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It’s gonna be wild.
On Saturday, the Prospect Park Zoo reopens after an eight-month closure, and animal lovers will get to see three new baby baboons and a brand new species – a pair of South American pudu deer.
“It is a species that many people have never seen before,” Craig Gibbs, the zoo’s animal curator and assistant director, told The Post.
The southern pudu are the smallest deer in the world, weighing up to about 25 pounds, Gibbs said.
Prospect Park Zoo now has an 8-year-old male and a 1-year-old female; both were born at the Queens Zoo.
7 There will be an 8-year-old male pudu (above) and a 1-year-old female; both were born at the Queens Zoo. credit: WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
There are only 33 of the animals in North American zoos and parks. Last year, just seven fawns were born in captivity across the Association of Zoos and Aquariums parks, and that was a record season.
Wide-eyed observers can catch the pudu on the Discover Trail at the zoo.
“Baby southern pudu, like other deer, are spotted for camouflage and are the size of a teacup chihuahua,” Gibbs said.
7 The female Hamadryas baboons are native to northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
They’re native to the Montane forests of South America and listed as a “near threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Zoo guests, Gibbs said, will be able to identify the male because he is slightly larger and has small antlers, which may grow as tall as 4 inches. The spikes-like appendages shed annually.
The other new animals are three baby female Hamadryas baboons, all under the age of two, and located in the Animal Lifestyles building.
7 The zoo had to close temporarily due flood damage from torrential rains during Tropical Storm Ophelia last September. The basement-floor electrical systems, boiler room and filtration system flooded during storm – with some buildings experiencing up to 25 feet of water. WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
7 Recovery costs have totaled $6.5 million thus far to restore electricity to the 12-acre zoo, relocating its primary electrical room from the basement to the ground level. Emergency generators and fuel tanks used since the storm have also been removed from public pathways and exhibit buildings have also been repaired. WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
The large primates, native to northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, have keenly observed the renovations from their habitats throughout the process.
“The young ones have been very interested in the goings on.” Gibbs said. “As we have gone through the restoration, we have had all sorts of construction crews, electricians and painters walking through the buildings.“
The zoo had to close temporarily due to flood damage from torrential rains during Tropical Storm Ophelia last September.
The basement-floor electrical systems, boiler room and filtration system flooded during storm – with some buildings experiencing as much as 25 feet of water.
7 Guests can expect to see – and hear – some of the most popular veteran residents, including the sea lions, in their pool at Sea Lion Court. credit: WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
Luckily, none of the zoo’s 400 animals were impacted, and they all got to remain on-site in their habitats following the flood and during repairs.
Guests can expect to see – and hear – some of the most popular veteran residents, including the sea lions, in their pool at Sea Lion Court. The playful marine mammals use a “breath exchange” bringing their snouts close together — a bonding act that looks like a kis s— to get to know their neighbors.
Another fan favorite is the endangered Red Panda. The acrobatic creatures primarily hang out in trees and are native to the Eastern Himalayas.
7 Another fan favorite at the beloved Prospect Park Zoo is the endangered Red Panda. WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
Recovery costs have totaled $6.5 million thus far to restore electricity to the 12-acre zoo. A primary electrical room has been moved from the basement to the ground level.
Emergency generators and fuel tanks used since the storm have also been removed from public pathways, and exhibit buildings have also been repaired.
But there’s more work to be done, full restoration costs are estimated to be more than $20 million, the zoo said, confirming it will take several years for the renovation to be completed.
“Our public spaces and exhibits will be fully re-opened even as we continue to repair infrastructure and plan for a full restoration,” Craig Piper, vice president and director of city zoos for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in a statement.
7 Full restoration costs are estimated to be more than $20 million, the zoo said, confirming it will take several years for the renovation to be completed. WCSâs Prospect Park Zoo
“While this reopening of Prospect Park Zoo is a major milestone, we have a long way to go before the zoo is fully restored.”
But, some of the primates at least are enjoying the process.
Gibbs quipped, “The baboons have kept track of it all.”

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