Year in Review: Baby Animals of 2014

This year, we fell in love with many new fuzzy faces and cuddly cuties.  Here are a few of our favorite baby animals of 2014!

Best Peek-a-Boo:
Nashville Zoo had a bounty of little kangaroo joeys popping up left and right this fall.  Here’s one of them:

Kangaroo joey peeking out from pouch

Photo by Aimee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.

Cutest Yawn:
Three male lion cubs were born at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on October 24. We love the middle guy’s yawn! Spending 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting, lions are the laziest of the big cats. In the wild, they can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or taking a snooze up in a tree.

Three lion cubs

Photo by Photo by Dr. Darin Collins / Woodland Park Zoo.

Bounciest Baby:
A baby klipspringer was born on March 30 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The term “klipspringer” is Afrikaans for “rock jumper”, and this little antelope sure does live up to her name!

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Cutest Snout:
Busch Gardens welcomed a Southern tamandua (or lesser anteater) on April 13. In the wild, tamanduas inhabit Central and South America.

Southern tamandua

Photo by Busch Gardens.

Best Belly Rolls:
This little roly-poly hippo calf, born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia on September 11, is just irresistible. In the wild, hippos live in sub-Saharan Africa. The hippopotamus is the second heaviest land mammal in the world!

Baby hippo and mama

Photo by Anthony Dorian / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.

Rarest Birth:
Chimelong Safari Park, a zoo in southern China, announced the birth of giant panda triplets this summer. Panda triplets are incredibly rare, and usually, at least one of the cubs do not survive. Born on July 29, these three panda cubs have all survived and mother Juxiao is tending to each of them.


Photo by Chimelong Safari Park.

Coziest Hug:
The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28 named Mpingo (EM-pingo), which is a type of African tree.  The wood from mpingo trees are used to make musical instruments, and so mpingos are sometimes referred to as “trees that make music”. According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”

Baby bonobo and mother

Photo by Laura Horn. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

Cutest Hybrid:
Butterfly is a geep (goat-sheep hybrid) born at My Petting Zoo in Scottsdale, Arizona. Born in July, she has the features of a goat and the curly wool of a lamb!

Geep: goat-sheep hybrid

Photo by My Petting Zoo.

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of adorable animal babies of 2014! Happy New Year!

Baby Klipspringer at Florida Zoo

Baby klipspringer at Brevard Zoo.

Baby klipspringer at Brevard Zoo. Photo courtesy of Brevard Zoo.

Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL welcomed a female klipspringer calf on June 15. She weighed two pounds at birth and is doing well.

The zoo staff are especially excited over this special birth because the little calf’s mother Vera has a history of medical issues. In May 2013, Vera came to Brevard Zoo with an injured leg.  After an extensive surgery, Vera developed an infection in her leg and veterinarians had to amputate it.

Klipspringers at Brevard Zoo.

The baby klipspringer with her parents, Vera and Marley. Photo courtesy of Brevard Zoo.

Despite her physical disability, Vera was able to hop around the yard and onto the rocks with just three legs. Now, with the birth of the little calf, Vera is showing she is a great mother as well.

In the wild, klipspringers inhabit the rocky terrain of eastern and southern Africa. They are very agile creatures, able to leap and balance on very steep, narrow ledges. In fact, the word klipspringer translates to “rock jumper”.

For more information, see the Brevard Zoo website.

Bouncing Baby Klipspringer at Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby klipspringer makes her first leaps and bounds at Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating the birth of a female baby klipspringer (Afrikaans for “rock jumper”) on March 30.

According to Curator of Mammals, Mark Kamhout, “The klipspringer calf is healthy and eating well and, as a result, has almost doubled her weight since birth. Currently, the calf is being hand-reared by our animal care staff after the mother was unable to provide adequate care.”

The team will provide around-the-clock care for the little antelope until she is ready to navigate the terrain of the klipspringer habitat.

Watch a video of the baby klipspringer here:

In the wild, klipspringers inhabit central and eastern Africa. They are dwarf antelope, reaching an average of  24 pounds.

Learn more at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.