Adorable Babies at the Bronx Zoo
An Indian rhino, a sweet-tempered giraffe named Margaret, and snow leopard cubs are a few of New York's cuties. As these fun facts and photos prove, baby animals are (almost) just like us!
Bronx River Pkwy. at Fordham Rd., Bronx, N.Y., 718/367-1010, bronxzoo.org, $14, ages 2-12 $10, kids under 2 free, admission by donation on Wed.
MONKEY: Born Jan. 23, 2008
Bolivian gray titi monkey Rachel has been keeping a close eye on baby Judas, her 10th offspring. Along with dad Jefe, they hang out in the branches of the Monkey House and snack on fruits and leafy veggies.
Who Knew? The titi population of South America is on the rise, and in 2005 a Wildlife Conservation researcher identified this new species of monkey in the jungles of Bolivia's Madidi National Park.
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PIG: Born Aug. 16, 2007
Cathy, a babirusa piglet, is one of the newcomers visible during the 25-minute Wild Asia Monorail ride, which reopens this month for the 2008 season (May-October). The zoo used an ultrasound exam to determine that mom Kelsey was pregnant, and Kelsey gave birth after a 163-day gestation period.
Who Knew? Babirusas, also known as pig-deer, hail mainly from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Males have enlarged canine teeth and even larger tusks that both curve back toward their foreheads. Despite their intimidating aspect, they've fallen prey to hunters who participate in the illegal bush-meat trade. You can learn more about efforts to protect babirusa at wcs.org.
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Last Year's Babies: Where Are They Now?
RHINO: Since we first reported on this Indian rhino baby, she's been named Nickel to pair up with her mother, Penny. Linda Corcoran, assistant director of communications, says that Nickel's personality is like that of every little rhino: "She's playful and curious but runs to mom any time there is something new or unfamiliar."
GIRAFFE: As the weather improves, Margaret, 1½, has been spending more and more time outdoors on the African Trail. She has a gentle spirit and, as an only child, gets her mom's full attention, at least for now.
EBONY LANGUR: Born November 25, 2006
Langurs are arboreal primates typically spotted in Indonesia. Luckily, this baby is easier to find. She lives in the zoo's JungleWorld—an Asian rain-forest habitat—with her mother, Dashini, and her father, Indra.
Who Knew? Female langurs share the infant-rearing duties within their troop, a practice known as allomothering, and forcibly take infants from their mother.
RHINO: Born November 16, 2006
When the Indian rhino mother, Penny, gave birth, she weighed a whopping 5,020 pounds and delivered this 95-pound female. The baby can be seen from the zoo's Wild Asia Monorail, which is open May through October, weather permitting.
Who Knew? The word rhinoceros is rooted in Greek: rhino (nose) and ceros (horn). While the herbivores have excellent hearing, they have weak eyesight and often charge when startled.
GIRAFFE: Born October 30, 2006
A female baby Rothschild's giraffe named Margaret can be found with her mom at the African Plains amid lions, cheetahs, zebras and African wild dogs. The baby's namesake, Margaret Carter, and her husband, James Walter Carter, were generous supporters of the zoo. Giraffe babies born since the Carter Giraffe House opened in 1982 are named in their memory.
Who Knew? Giraffes have a gestation period of 14-15 months and give birth while standing; the calf falls to the ground and, according to the zoo, the drop helps get the newborn's heart going and clear its breathing tubes.
LEOPARD CUBS: Born June 7, 2006.
Snow leopard Mei Mei's two female cubs, who love jumping and spinning in circles, live in the Himalayan Highlands Habitat. The area mimics the rugged, mountainous territory that these large cats inhabit in their native Central Asia.
Who Knew? To help survive among the rocks and snow, the cubs have wide, plush tails for balance and padded foot soles for insulation.