Record litter for the naked mole-rats
Animal news | 5 October 2022
A record-breaking litter was born at the weekend: 28 pups from one female in a group of naked mole-rats. The gestation period is about 76 days, and litters usually number 15 to 20 pups. Until now, the highest number of pups in a litter in our zoo was 23. The babies are about 2 cm in length and are born blind. From the very beginning, they have to fight to get access to their mother’s teats. This means that only the strongest survive. In the wild, about 50 per cent of a litter makes it; in a zoo, it’s around 70 per cent on average.
A total of 133 naked mole-rats in various groups currently live at Dresden Zoo, either in the limelight or behind the scenes. A wide range of factors, including warmth, humidity and food, have to be addressed to ensure that the animals are comfortable, breed, and raise their offspring successfully. Naked mole-rats have been resident at our zoo since 1995, and we have made continuous improvements to their care and welfare. Since then, Dresden Zoo has gained a reputation for the breeding of naked mole-rats. Almost 80 % of Europe’s breeding population comes from the Dresden bloodline.