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.
On March 12, Imani, an 18-year-old gorilla at the San Diego Zoo, gave birth to a 4.6 pound baby via caesarian section. The infant was treated for pneumonia and other complications after birth at the animal hospital.
But 12 days later, baby and mama were reunited! Imani immediate cradled her baby in her arms and has been doting on the newborn ever since.
The Twycross Zoo welcomed a baby Asian elephant on March 4! The healthy female calf will nurse 11 liters (~3 gallons) of milk a day from her mother Noorjahan until she is 12 months old.
Dr. Charlotte Macdonald, Head of Life Sciences, said: “The calf was born at approximately 2.30am and was up on its feet after a matter of minutes. The infant has bonded very well with mum, who is doing an exceptional job of taking care of her.”
Sarah Chapman, Head of Veterinary Services, added: “The herd’s behaviour was monitored by the vet and animal teams via CCTV, and it was good to see that all members of the herd were very excited by the new arrival and very interested in the infant. All the females continue to take a huge interest in the calf and are very protective of her. This is perfectly natural, with Aunties playing a very important ‘babysitting’ role in the natural herd structure.”
The IUCN lists the Asian elephant as endangered. In the wild, they live in fragmented populations in various countries across southeast Asia. Their population has been dramatically reduced and the quality of habitat is declining.
Learn more at the Twycross Zoo website.
Here’s a video of the little cub playing in his outdoor den for the first time:
UPDATE: After 14,000 votes, the winning name was Humphrey!
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.
Watch a video of a polar bear cub taking his first steps at the Toronto Zoo.
The cub was born on November 9, 2013 and is making great progress. His achievements include:
- Standing on all four legs and taking steps forward.
- Learning to lap up milk formula from a dish
- Teething – his canines, incisors, and some of his molars can now be felt. He likes to bite objects like his blanket.
- Playing – he is quite active, and he is interacting with his surroundings.
- Gaining weight – he currently weighs about 4.5 kg, which is a 529% increase since his original birth weight of 700 grams.
Learn more at the Toronto Zoo website.
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!