Year in Review: Baby Animals of 2013

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.

Lion cubs at Busch Gardens

Photo by Busch Gardens.

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.

Baby lemur

Baby sifaka at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Photo by Jeffrey F. Bill.

 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.

Baby porcupine at Woodland Park Zoo

The new porcupette at one day old at the Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo.

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.

Bonobo and baby

Bonobo baby with mom Kiri. Photo credit: Laura Horn, Memphis Zoo.

Sleepiest Piggy-Backer: It’s a tie between this baby anteater and this baby spider monkey, both of whom were born in June at Busch Gardens!

http://www.animalfactguide.com/2012/07/baby-animals-at-busch-gardens/

Weighing less than 5 pounds, this baby anteater will eventually grow to be over 100 pounds. The little anteater will ride on his mother’s back for about a year.

Spider monkey

This baby spider monkey got comfy sleeping on his mother’s back.

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.

King, a baby rhino.

After a few timid steps, King gained confidence in the outdoor exhibit, taking in all the new sights and scents. Photo by Todd Rosenberg/Lincoln Park Zoo.

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.

Baby giant anteater at Nashville Zoo. Photo by Heather Robertson / Nashville Zoo.

Baby giant anteater at Nashville Zoo. Photo by Heather Robertson / Nashville Zoo.

Tallest Baby: 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.

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Photo by Amiee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Hope you enjoyed our roundup of cute animal babies of 2013. Happy New Year!

Bonobo Baby Face!

Memphis Zoo keeper Sandi Shoemaker captured this moment with Mobali, a three-month-old baby bonobo.

Bonobo baby up close

Closeup of baby Mobali, a bonobo at the Memphis Zoo. Photo by Sandi Shoemaker / Memphis Zoo.

Learn more about Mobali’s birth on our blog. You can also learn more about bonobos at our bonobo facts article.

Baby Bonobo is a Boy!

The Memphis Zoo announced the baby bonobo born on Mother’s Day is a boy! His name is Mobali. Here are photos of the celebration.

Bonobo

The bonobos open up a box of treats to celebrate. Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

Bonobo

It’s a boy! Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

Bonobo and baby

A quiet moment for mama and baby Mobali. Photo by Laura Horn, Graphic Designer at Memphis Zoo.

To learn more about bonobos, see our Bonobo Facts page.

Baby Bonobo at Memphis Zoo

Bonobo and baby

Bonobo baby with mom Kiri. Photo credit: Laura Horn, Memphis Zoo.

A baby bonobo was born at the Memphis Zoo on May 12 to parents Kiri and Mofana. The sex of the baby is still not known, but zoo staff will determine the gender in the coming weeks.

According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “This is a species that needs a lot of help, so every birth is significant. Bonobos are still very rare in the wild and in captivity. They are a high conservation priority, and Mo and Kiri are a good genetic match.”

In the wild, bonobos inhabit the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Currently, the IUCN has categorized bonobos as endangered. Civil war in the Congo has hugely impacted bonobo society, fragmenting their population to isolated pockets and limiting their genetic diversity.

To learn more about bonobos, see our bonobo facts article.

Featured Animal: Bonobo

BonoboMeet our featured animal, the bonobo!

Here are five facts about bonobos:

  • Bonobos share 98.5% of our DNA.
  • In captivity, bonobos have learned how to communicate in human languages, use tools, and play music.
  • Although they resemble chimpanzees, bonobos have the ability to walk bipedally, or on two legs, more easily and for longer amounts of time than chimps.
  • Bonobos live harmoniously in matriarchal groups of up to 100 members.
  • Bonobos communicate with high-pitched barking sounds.

Learn more about bonobos >

Baby Bonobo at Jacksonville Zoo

bonobo baby
Photo: Marian Brickner

A female baby bonobo was born November 6 to Kuni of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  Delfi Messinger, the Director of Animal Programs, said of the 24-year-old mother, “She seems so proud, and shows her baby to the ‘aunties’ in the group, as well as to her human caretakers.”

In the wild, bonobos live in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Sharing 98.5% of the same DNA as humans, they embody a profound intelligence and a deep emotional capacity. To learn more about bonobos, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Bonobo.

To learn more about Kuni and her new baby, visit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.