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!

Endangered Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo

Baby lemur

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

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. The newborn, named Max, resembled a tiny gremlin when born, with a bald black face, round yellow eyes, and pointy ears.  Now, the white fur has grown in, and Max resembles his parents, Ana and Gratian.

Coquerel's sifaka

For the first month, baby Coquerel’s sifaka ride on their mother’s bellies, and then transition to riding on their mother’s backs. Carey Ricciardone, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Maryland Zoo said of Max: “By the end of April, he will begin to sample solid food and crawl on Ana’s back periodically and he should begin to venture a few feet away from her by six to eight weeks of age.”

In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka live solely on the island of Madagascar, which is off the southeastern coast of Africa. They spend most of their lives in the treetops in two protected areas in the sparse dry, deciduous forests on the northwestern side of the island. As with many species of lemur, Coquerel’s sifaka are endangered, threatened by deforestation.

Sifaka have a very interesting way of moving on land. Here’s a video of some of them leaping!

For more information and photos of the baby sifaka, see the Maryland Zoo at Baltimore’s website.

Baby Animals of 2011

There were so many adorable baby animals born in 2011.  Here are a few highlights:

Baldest Baby: This baby aardvark was born at Busch Gardens Tampa on April 10, 2011. He was hand-reared by zookeepers because his mother was neglecting him.


Oldest Mother:
Five Santa Cruz Galapagos tortoise hatchlings were born on November 15  to a century-old tortoise in a South Carolina zoo after she hid the eggs from zookeepers for months.
Galapagos tortoise hatchling at South Carolina zoo


Best Gremlin Impersonator:
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a male baby Coquerel’s sifaka on November 12 and named him Nero. Sifakas are a kind of lemur who move by leaping through trees or side-hopping on the ground.
Baby sifaka at Maryland zoo


Roundest Face:
A pair of red pandas were born at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, MA on July 4. In the wild, red pandas inhabit bamboo forests in China, the Himalyas, and Myanmar.
Red panda baby at Boston zoo


Unlikely Friends:
An 8-week-old cheetah (born in February) was paired with a 16-week-old yellow lab at Busch Gardens Tampa. The two adolescents became great pals.
Cheetah cub and puppy friends


Most Smiley:
A dolphin calf was born on July 26th at SeaWorld Orlando. Here he is bonding with his mother.
Dolphin mother and calf


Whitest Kiwi:
Two rare all-white kiwis were born this year at Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Center in New Zealand.  Manukura was born in May and was the first of its kind born in captivity.  Mauriora was born in December. The two white kiwis are North Island brown kiwis who carry a rare white gene. They are not albinos.
White kiwi

Hope you enjoyed our roundup of amazing animal babies of 2011. Happy New Year!

Baby Lemur Born at Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a male baby Coquerel’s sifaka on November 12 and named him Nero. At birth, the baby lemur weighed 94 grams, about the weight of a deck of cards. According to Meredith Wagoner, mammal collection and conservation manager, “Sifaka are born with sparse hair and resemble tiny gremlins, however their white hair soon grows in, and they begin to resemble their parents.”

In the wild, Coquerel’s sifaka inhabit the island of Madagascar. They are endangered as a result of habitat loss from deforestation. Sifaka are different from other lemurs in the way they hop through treetops in an upright posture using only their hind legs. They propel themselves on the ground by side-hopping on their hind legs.

To learn more, see the Maryland Zoo website.