Britain’s Chester Zoo had a baby boom during 2017

Britain's Chester Zoo had a baby boom of endangered, unusual and simply cute animals during 2017.To celebrate its newcomers the zoo made a video showing its top ten babies born in the last year.Making the top ten were three colorful chameleons of the Cameroon, two-horned mountain species, the births of two incredibly rare Eastern black rhino calves, the first Andean bear born in mainland Britain, a male Asian elephant calf, Javan green magpie chicks, and two clutches of Bermudian skinks.The video also featured a young Dik-Dik antelope named Thanos that was raised by keepers after his mum died. The first litter of endangered painted dog pups, and a rare Rothschild's giraffe calf Narus also made the cut.The Zoo also welcomed the hatching of one of the world's rarest amphibians, Montseny newts, helping efforts to save it from extinction, it said in a news release. Continue Reading

Bill’s baby boom: 10 of de Blasio’s top staffers welcome 13 newborns since he took office

Thirteen babies. Thirteen months. One administration. There has been an epic baby boom at City Hall since Mayor de Blasio took office — with 10 of his top staffers welcoming 13 bundles of joy since inauguration, including three sets of twins. New parents include one commissioner — Maria Torres-Springer, the head of Small Business Services — the directors of both state and city legislative affairs units and two chiefs of staff. “There were definitely moments when I looked at my husband and said, ‘Can we do this?’ ” said Torres-Springer, who was two weeks away from her due date when de Blasio appointed her to head the 275-person agency. She felt comfortable taking the job because it was her second child. New big sis Leah Elsa is 5. Getting through the week is a “major logistical challenge,” but she has plenty of people around who can empathize. “It’s a group of kindred spirits,” she said. Going back to work while managing a newborn is always difficult. But being part of 24-hour city government, in the first months of a new administration — after what one insider jokingly calls a “hostile takeover” from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg — presents a unique set of challenges, the new parents say. There’s no exhaustion like the exhaustion that comes when prepping a $77.7 billion preliminary budget with a days-old baby at home. “I’ve had my sleepless nights in Albany,” said Sherif Soliman, de Blasio’s director of state legislative affairs and new dad to 23-day-old Lenna. “But I can say this takes sleeplessness to a new level.” His daughter arrived a week before de Blasio unveiled the 2016 proposed budget. She’s a great sleeper — just not at night. For now, Soliman runs on adrenaline and the joy of being a first-time Continue Reading

Mom Kippur! Fast on Jewish Day of Atonement triggers apparent Brooklyn baby boom

These Jewish women went from synagogue to stork. A handful of Brooklyn moms got more than redemption on the Jewish Day of Atonement when they broke their 25-hour fasts and their water after Yom Kippur. “It’s normal fasting should cause the labor,” said Jacob Green, whose wife Sarah, 34, gave birth to a baby girl a week early Monday. “When I came in last time, two weeks before Passover, three and a half years ago, the ward was empty,” he added. The beaming parents from Williamsburg were joined by other Jewish couples in the packed maternity ward at Maimonides Medical Center. The baby boom in the busiest obstetrics unit in the state backs a new study by Israeli researchers who found that fasting can trigger labor for women in an advanced state of pregnancy. “It was definitely a factor,” said Moshe Fishman, 26, whose wife, Tzivia, went into labor with his third child just as the shofer sounded to end the Saturday night service. Dehydration from the fast can frequently lead to early labor pains and hike the risk of premature delivery, according to researchers Natal Shalit and Eyal Sheiner. The pair examined the records of thousands of pregnant women older than 23. Their findings were published in the Journal of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. Maimonides delivered an estimated 9,000 babies in 2013, which is more than all Brooklyn hospitals combined, records show. The Jewish community accounts for about half of the births. “It’s always a baby boom here,” said a nurse, who tended to 10 sleeping newborns in the hospital’s observatory nursery on Monday. Hospital officials did not immediately comment on the baby spike, but some staff members downplayed it. “We are always busy here,” another nurse said. In Brooklyn, some of the moms-to-be took the long-held theory a little too literally. “A lot of people were sent home Continue Reading

Endangered piping plovers enjoy a baby boom this summer in Rockaway

There's been a baby boom among Rockaway’s piping plovers. Twelve nesting pairs of the endangered birds successfully raised about 25 fledglings this year — five times the 2013 amount. The spike has left conservationists scratching their heads after only five chicks survived to fly south for the winter last year. “There is a huge difference between last year and this year, but we can’t say for sure what allowed that to happen,” said city Park Ranger Brooke Skelly, who monitors the plump, sparrow-sized birds with three other team members. The sand-colored, federally-protected piping plover — named for its plaintive, bell-like whistle — builds its nest in the sand near the shoreline every year from March until the end of August between Beach 38th St. and Beach 56th St. The recent dredging along the beach to help build up the hurricane-ravaged shoreline could have given gulls and crows another source of food - sparing the plover chicks from predators. “We did notice there was a huge population of gulls feeding on whatever they pulled out of the ocean,” said Skelly. Protecting the plovers along the Eastern seaboard, including Rockaway, has drawn grumbles from some who resent seeing large sections of beach roped off and manpower dedicated to keeping watch over the birds. The National Park Service monitors plovers on their stretch of beach on the western end of the peninsula. Federal and state authorities mandate special accommodations for the plovers, which were almost driven into extinction decades ago. “It’s just part of the whole fragile web of life,” said Don Riepe, who heads the northeast chapter of the American Littoral Society. “The more species we lose, the less diversity we have in our environment.” In the late 1800s, plover feathers were used to decorate women’s hats. In more recent years, shoreline development destroyed the habiitats Continue Reading

New Jersey hospitals brace for baby boom from Superstorm Sandy

When Superstorm Sandy doused the lights along coastal New Jersey nine months ago, it laid the groundwork for a summertime baby boom that has hospitals jumping. "It was a crazy time," said Dr. Steven Morgan, who practices obstetrics and gynecology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. "A lot of people were home, a lot of people didn't have TV, and obviously a lot of reproduction was happening." Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch is on track to deliver about 500 babies this month, up from 371 delivered at the same time last year, said Dr. Robert Graebe, who heads the hospital's obstetrics and gynecology department. Jersey Shore University Medical Center expects about 200 births this month, up from 160 in July 2012. Both hospitals said they were bringing in extra staff to cope with the baby boom. Sandy slammed into the area on October 29, causing more than 200 deaths and $50 billion in damage along the East Coast. Many Jersey communities were without power for long periods of time. "There is something about that heightened arousal, that sense of emergency and danger that does seem to cause people to form this physical connection, to kind of compensate in some way," said Dr. Christine Tintorer, a psychiatrist at Monmouth Medical. "It almost sounds like psychobabble kind of stuff, but I think it does tap into this kind of primitive instinct, like to preserve the species." Continue Reading

Doctors say ‘Carmageddon’ sparked a baby boom in Los Angeles

Nine months after freeway repairs forced much of Los Angeles to stay at home, doctors say the city is experiencing a "Carmageddon" baby boom. In July, residents were warned to stay off the roads as construction crews shut down a 10-mile stretch of the busy 405 freeway, CBS News reports. For many, it was an unplanned vacation. "When people relax, whether they are vacationing or whether the freeway is closed down, they do have more of a chance [to get pregnant\] than when everybody's stressed out," obstetrician Dr. Robert Katz told NBC Los Angeles. Dr. Joie Russo of Providence Medical Center in Tarzana, near the 405, told CBS News she's noticing the effects of the three-day span, dubbed "Carmageddon," in the delivery room. Russo, who usually delivers eight to ten babies per month, has delivered eight in just the past two weeks. "So much so that I wasn't able to go on any type of vacation," she told CBS News. "In a 30-minute period, including me, there were five deliveries done at once." It will take statisticians two weeks to reveal whether or not an actual baby boom is occurring, but Natasha Mills, one of Russo's patients, is already convinced she has "Carmageddon" to thank for her newborn. "We just holed up at the house, kind of sat by the fire and hung out with each other," her husband Brian told CBS News. One of Katz’ patients, Michelle Souferian, had been trying to get pregnant with her husband Bejan for four and a half years. When "Carmageddon" struck, the couple followed officials' warnings and stayed put. "We stayed home the whole weekend 'cause we worried, like everybody else, that we would get stuck," she told NBC Los Angeles. "It was a shock to both of us that this happened." Now, there's a painted freeway on the wall of their newborn Amare's nursery. With a laugh, his dad calls it "the highway to happiness." [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Baby boom in the Bronx: First look at Bronx Zoo’s two sets of tiger triplets

A baby boom in the Bronx has produced two sets of tiger triplets, and the Daily News has the first look at the feline furballs. The six kitty carnivores - five males and one female - make their public debut at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo on Thursday. The Malayan and Amur tigers will be displayed at the Tiger Mountain exhibit, but only the Amur litter will be watched over by their mother. The Malayan cubs, the first ever on display at the zoo, have been on their own since their mother, Berapi, stopped nursing them weeks after giving birth. "She just kind of woke up one day and decided she didn't want to take care of them anymore," said Jim Breheny, director of the Bronx Zoo. "If it had happened in the wild the cubs would have perished. These guys were lucky that they were here." The zoo stepped in, feeding the helpless cubs a gruel of meat and milk while Berapi went on exhibit in a separate area. "Even though they're not with their mom, they have each other for comfort and security," Breheny said. The lucky Amur triplets have a devoted mother, 300-pound Sasha, and are still nursing. "It's really great just to watch her and how protective she is over those cubs, how she's watching us and watching them, just like a mom at a playground," Breheny said. The zoo hasn't had Amur cubs in more than a decade, but not for lack of trying. Sasha was paired with two previous potential mates by the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative effort among zoos nationwide that promotes genetic diversity among captive populations. There was no love match. Handschuh/News "It's just not as simple as putting ingredient A and ingredient B together in a jar and shaking it up and getting a product," Breheny said. When Sasha met the triplets' father, Bachuta, it was lust at first sight. The frisky felines mated the day they met. Handschuh/News The Amur cubs were born on May 22, the Malayan cubs on April 5. Two of the Amur cubs are Continue Reading

Jacqueline Laurita delivers; Baby boom for Jersey ‘Housewives’

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" are enjoying a baby boom.Jacqueline Laurita, star of the Bravo series, gave birth via C-section yesterday to her third child - a boy named Nicholas Francis Laurita.Little Nick weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces when he debuted at a New Jersey hospital in the wee hours.Not to be outdone, Jackie's co-star and pal, Teresa Giudice, is expecting her fourth child in September.Teresa and husband Joe are building their dream house in Towaco, and already are parents to three girls, Gia, 8, the budding actress, Gabriella, 4, and Milania, 3.Jackie, 39, was having a hard time getting pregnant on the show, which filmed last year, and consulted a fertility specialist. Her infertility struggles were featured this season.She and husband Chris, 43, have two other kids, Ashley, 18 and CJ, 7.Before heading to the delivery room, an ecstatic Jackie told Life & Style Magazine, "I'm not even nervous anymore. I'm just so excited."Caroline Manzo, another "Housewives" co-star said "the family is very excited. This has been a long journey for Jacqueline and we are all thrilled for her. We cannot wait to meet our new little Nicholas." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Election night baby boom predicted after President Barack Obama’s win is a myth: report

President Barack Obama may have inspired hope in plenty of people after his historic win last November -- but he didn't inspire a lot of baby-making.The baby boom that some predicted would result from Election night euphoria as happy couples celebrated Obama's victory just isn't happening, reports.Nine months since the big night, there has been no significant uptick in births, according to hospitals in New Jersey, Seattle and even Obama's hometown of Chicago. An Obama baby boom is "a romantic idea, but don't bet on it," Dr. S. Philip Morgan, a professor of sociology and demography at Duke University, told the Web site. There are several reasons for this, Morgan says. For one thing, it's never been proven that public euphoria really leads to more sex. But even if the sex did happen, he says, many women use forms of contraception like the pill that can't be reversed on a single night of celebration. Other women may have been at the wrong point in their fertility cycle.It's also important to recall, says Morgan, that Obama only won 52% of the popular vote, which means millions of others weren't celebrating at all. Though the idea of a single, memorable night inspiring a birth rate bump is an attractive notion, baby booms are more likely to result from a larger, sustained event, according to Morgan, such as the baby boom generation that resulted from the end of World War II. Would-be parents of the Obama generation may have other things on their minds right now -- like financial concerns. "The overwhelming effect on fertility in the coming months will be the economy," Morgan said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


FORGET ABOUT PAYING FOR your kids' college education. It'll cost you plenty just to get them as far as kindergarten. A city baby boom is making it tougher for working parents to find day care for their little ones. And while there are many options, none of them comes cheap. In Manhattan alone, the number of children under the age of 5 rose more than 30% between 2000 and 2005, according to the Census Bureau. While infants and toddlers represented 20% of all kids in the city, just 14% of government-subsidized, regulated child care was for children under 3, according to a report by Child Care Inc., a nonprofit child care consulting group. "Your typical working family in the city faces tremendous challenges in finding affordable care," said Child Care Inc. Executive Director Nancy Kolben. Choosing child care can be among a parent's toughest decisions, she said. "Lots of people will get on the waiting list even if they're just thinking about having a baby," said Elaine Rexdale, director of the Presbyterian Hospital Infant and Child Care Center in upper Manhattan. The center, which cares for 66 kids between 2 months and 5 years each day, costs parents between $313 and $351 a week. Steven Chang's sons Ethan, 5, and Joshua, 2, have been attending the center since they were 4 months old. He and his wife opted for group day care because "we liked the idea of our children getting exposed to more kids and more activities," Chang said. They spend nearly $3,000 a month on child care, which Chang admits, is "a chunk of change." Prices for group day care range widely across the city, varying largely according to neighborhood, experts said. Elite private nursery schools can cost more than $25,000 a year. New York State's Office of Children and Family Services estimates that a week at a day care facility in the five boroughs costs between $180 and $288, with kids under 11/2 costing the most since their care is most labor-intensive. Group day care at a caregiver's Continue Reading