Chicago zoos are busting with babies, so we decided it was
time to share a few of the most adorable with our readers. Check
out our slideshow of everything from kangaroo babies that have just
left mommy's pouch to sweet, long-necked giraffes snuggling with
Two kangaroo joeys born at Brookfield
Zoo are now exploring their outdoor habitat at the Australia
House exhibit. The joeys, born on Feb. 20 and March 13 of last year
to moms Daisy, 7½, and Sheila, 11, have been spending more time out
of their mothers' pouches.
The 10- and 11-month-old joeys began hopping around and
exploring their new surroundings this past November and just this
month, respectively. As they grow, they obviously will be too big
to fit in the pouches but will still stick their heads in to nurse
until about 18 months of age.
Arnieta, a 5-year-old reticulated giraffe at Brookfield
Zoo, gave birth to a male calf in the early afternoon on Nov.
12. They've been off exhibit until this month, when mom and calf
can finally be seen indoors in the zoo's Habitat Africa! The
The birth took place in an off-exhibit area. Soon afterwards,
the 150-pound, 6-foot-2-inch-tall calf stood and began nursing.
Following a 14½-month gestation period, mother giraffes give birth
while standing, thus resulting in an approximately five-foot drop
delivery for the calf. Within an hour after birth, the calf born at
Brookfield Zoo was standing. When fully grown, he could potentially
reach 18 feet tall.
Zoo is also the home of two litters of dwarf mongoose pups. The
litters, born on Sept. 12 and Nov. 24, include three males and four
unsexed puppies respectively. Guests visiting the zoo can see the
family in the Habitat Africa! The Savannah exhibit.
Mongoose pups are born with their eyes closed; they open when
they are about 13 days old. Mongooses are very gregarious and have
a highly cooperative society with well-developed social roles.
There is one dominant female and male in a group as well as
subordinate males and older offspring. The subordinate males and
older offspring usually help care for the younger pups in the
group. Puppies begin to play fight after their eyes open. This is
practice for when they are older and need to defend their own
Lincoln Park Zoo has had a gorilla baby boom, with two western
lowland gorillas born last fall. Both baby girls can be seen at the
Zoo's Regenstein Center for African Apes from 10 a.m.-4:30 daily,
along with the rest of their gorilla families. Each day at 1:30,
the adult gorillas participate in training of computer cognition
sessions that visitors can watch.
Lincoln Park Zoo also welcomed a new zebra baby. The adorable
baby boy, named Kito, can be seen at the zoo's Antelope & Zebra
area. Kito was born on Aug. 23 and has an older brother named Enzi
who was born in in 2010.
Eighteen tiny ornate box turtles also joined
Lincoln Park Zoo this fall, but the new arrivals are destined
to leave the zoo when they're a little older. These quarter-sized
turtles are part of a conservation effort that aims to restore the
dwindling population of the threatened ornate box turtle across the
The babies live in groups of six surrounded by comfy moss that
they can use for nesting, and the climate is kept warm and balmy -
just the way turtles like it. Animal care staff feed them
specially-formulated, high nutrient turtle chow. When the turtles
are mature enough to be released, they will settle into their new
home at Lost Mound Sand Prairie, a Unit of Upper Mississippi River
National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Savanna, Ill.
One of the smallest of the new babies is the diminutive Bolivian
gray titi monkey born Aug. 18 weighing only a few ounces. Its
mother is the oldest of her species to give birth in a North
American zoo. The baby and its parents can be seen at
Lincoln Park Zoo's Helen C. Brach Primate House. Titi families
are known for being tight knit, and fathers and siblings pitch in
with childcare duties. The titi monkeys at Lincoln Park Zoo can
often be seen sitting close together on the same branch and
intertwining their tails as a bonding behavior.