Best places to see baby animals in Chicago in 2013


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 parents.


Brookfield's joeys

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.




Giraffe calf

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 Savannah exhibit.

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.




Dwarf Mongoose Pups

Brookfield 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 territories.




Baby gorillas

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.


Little zebra

This fall, 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.





Too cute turtles

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 state.

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.




Tiny Titi

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.

Kids Eat Chicago

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