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