Discovery Cove in Orlando welcomed a female dolphin calf on March 18 at 3:45 am. The calf weighs about 22 kg (48 lbs.) and is 1.2 m (47 in.) long. The baby dolphin is doing well, nursing and bonding with her mother Natalie.
The Taronga Western Plains Zoo in New South Wales, Australia has been hand rearing a baby echidna (called a puggle) over the last couple of months.
The little puggle was found at the side of the road. It is believed the mother was hit by a car.
“The puggle is now approximately four months old and responding very well under the watchful eye of the vet nurses,” said vet nurse, Jodie Milton.
“It’s feeding well and gaining weight steadily, so we’ll be able to wean it in about three to four months’ time and start introducing it to solid food.”
Normally, echidnas live in their mothers’ pouches for 2-3 months and then move into a secluded burrow for up to a year. So it is very rare to see an echidna puggle.
“It will be some time before the puggle will be able to fend for itself, but until then it’s in safe hands,” said Jodie.
For more information about the little puggle, see the Taronga Western Plains Zoo website.
Learn more about echidnas at our short-beaked echidna facts page.
Starting today, you can help name a Gentoo penguin chick at SeaWorld Orlando! Cast your vote for your favorite name on the SeaWorld Orlando Facebook page.
Since November 30, SeaWorld Orlando has experienced a penguin chick boom. Fifteen penguin chicks have hatched at their new exhibit, Antarctica, Empire of the Penguin, which features four different species of penguin: king, Adelie, Gentoo, and rockhopper.
From SeaWorld Orlando:
Although currently ranging in size from 6 inches to 21 inches, the king chick, the largest penguin at SeaWorld’s Antarctica will grow to be as tall as 2.5 ft. and its smallest, the rock hopper will grow to be approximately 12 inches tall.
Learn more at SeaWorld’s website.
The SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team is hand-raising four tawny frogmouth chicks. Three of the chicks were born in early December and the latest addition hatched on January 14.
A member of the Aviculture Team takes a chick home every night to monitor it and provide scheduled feedings every 3-4 hours.
Tawny frogmouths are native to Australia. Their distinct markings help camouflage them on the tree branches.
For more information, visit the SeaWorld website.
Photos by Jason Collier, SeaWorld Orlando.
What a wonderful year it’s been for adorable baby animals! Here are a few highlights:
Most Eager Eyes: Pictured below is one of two female lion cubs who were born at Busch Gardens on March 20. The cubs have genetic lines from the Kalahari and Kruger regions of South Africa, where lions are recognized for their large size and impressive manes on the males.
Best Peek-a-Boo: Max, a little Coquerel’s sifaka (pronounced CAH-ker-rells she-FAHK — it’s a species of lemur), was born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on March 30. In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka live solely on the island of Madagascar, which is off the southeastern coast of Africa.
Most Spiky: The Woodland Park Zoo welcomed a North American porcupette (baby porcupine) on April 18. Porcupettes are born with soft quills that harden a few hours after birth, providing quick protection against predators.
Best Hugger: This baby bonobo was born on May 12 at the Memphis Zoo. In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered.
Rare Birth: King is an Eastern black rhinoceros born at the Lincoln Park Zoo on August 26. In the wild, Eastern black rhinos are critically endangered due to poaching. It is estimated that there are only 5000 left in the wild in Africa.
Cutest Snout: Meet Gabana, a baby giant anteater born at the Nashville Zoo on November 16. In the wild, giant anteaters inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South America. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN.
Hope you enjoyed our roundup of cute animal babies of 2013. Happy New Year!
In the early morning hours of December 13, a female Masai giraffe was born at Nashville Zoo! At birth, the calf was already 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 180 lbs.
Masai giraffes are one of nine different sub-species and are known for their oak-leaf shaped spot pattern. They are native to the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.
Twycross Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of an endangered Bornean orangutan. The baby ape, born on November 28, is happy, healthy and doing very well. The newborn is 36-year-old Kibriah’s fourth offspring.
Great Ape Team Leader, Simon Childs, said: “We’re all very proud. Kibriah is a very loving mum and she’s doing such a great job. She is holding the baby very close so we won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl just yet. When we find out the sex, we can then start to think of a name for him or her. At this stage we don’t mind what sex it is, we’re just happy to have another healthy infant.”
According to Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences: “The Bornean orangutan is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Redlist (IUCN), with fewer than 50,000 individuals remaining in the wild. As they only give birth on average once every eight years their numbers are dwindling fast as a result of the extreme rate at which forest habitat in Indonesia is being destroyed by deforestation. Experts now agree that orangutans are likely to be extinct in the wild within the next 20 years, so successful breeding is imperative if this ape is to continue to exist on this planet in the future.”
Learn more about Bornean orangutans at our orangutan facts page.
For more about the new addition at the Twycross Zoo, see their website.
On November 30, SeaWorld Orlando welcomed the first chick to hatch at their new attraction, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. The two-week old king penguin chick weighs 882 grams (30 oz.). It is being cared for by its parents with routine checkups from SeaWorld Orlando staff. The little chick will grow to more than 11 kilograms (24 lbs.) and over 2.5 feet tall.
Like emperor penguins, king penguins do not build nests. Instead the mother and father take turns incubating the egg under their belly on top of their feet.
Learn more at the SeaWorld Orlando website.
After many months, a red kangaroo joey has taken his first peek outside his mother’s pouch at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The little baby was born in early May, but has spent the time securely tucked away in the pouch growing bigger and stronger.
Joeys are blind and hairless at birth, and weigh less than an ounce. They use their forearms to crawl up the mother’s abdomen into the pouch. Once there, the joey latches on to his mother’s teat to nurse.
This little joey was the first offspring for mother Anna and father Jacob. According to Curator Diane Mulkerin, “This little roo has been very secretive so far. Animal care staffers suspected the pregnancy in mid-spring and have been watching very closely ever since. At the end of July, they started seeing movement around mom’s abdomen, and at long last, the little one has finally begun to peek out of the pouch.”
Red kangaroos are native to Australia. In the wild, they live in large groups called mobs.
Learn more at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.
Nashville Zoo welcomed a male giant anteater on November 16. The new addition, named Gabana, is doing well with mother Dulce living in the off-exhibit giant anteater barn.
Nashville Zoo has been active in anteater conservation for 15 years. This is the fifth anteater birth for the zoo in the last 13 months.
In the wild, giant anteaters inhabit the tropical forests of Central and South America. They are considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN.
Learn more at the Nashville Zoo’s website.