New Kids on the Block
Four playful meerkat pups, an endangered Bonobo named Mali, and a leaf froglet—teeny enough to perch on a fingertip—are a few of the adorable newcomers to U.S. zoos. As these fun facts and photos suggest, baby animals are (almost) just like us!
  |  Monday, May 19, 2008

Zoo Atlanta
Grant Park, 800 Cherokee Ave., SE, Atlanta, Ga., 404/624-5600, zooatlanta.org, $18, ages 3-11 $13, children under 3 free.

LEMURS: Born Apr. 16, 2008
Two black-and-white ruffed lemurs were born in nests made high in the Living Treehouse, the zoo's open-air aviary. Apart from zoos, these lemurs are found only on Madagascar, an island off the southeast coast of Africa, where they're threatened by deforestation.
Who Knew? Lemur moms carry infants in their mouths during their first few weeks, which is rare behavior among primates.
Aww… See the photo

WARTHOG: Born Apr. 16, 2008
The special warthog habitat, which opened in 2007 in the African Plains section, recently welcomed a piglet that has yet to be named. As the baby grows, she will develop tusks that can be up to six inches long.
Who Knew? Warthogs do more than grunt and squeal. They often resort to body language (head angles, tail flicks) to communicate—rather like we do.
Aww… See the photo

ORANGUTAN: Born Oct. 22, 2006; adopted June 20, 2007
Dumadi, whose mother died shortly after his birth, was reared by humans at Indiana's Fort Wayne Children's Zoo for months until Zoo Atlanta stepped in. Now Dumadi lives with his surrogate mom, Madu, and stepbrother, Bernas, in a habitat that mimics the forests of Indonesia.
Who Knew? It was key that Dumadi and Madu bond quickly, as orangutans can only learn natural behaviors by observing and copying their moms. And they stay dependent on their moms up until they're 8 or even 10 years old, the longest childhood of any animal except for humans.
Aww… See the photo

Bronx Zoo
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.
Aww… See the photo

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.
Aww… See the photo

Houston Zoo
1513 N. MacGregor Dr., Houston, Tex., 713/533-6500, houstonzoo.org, $10, seniors $5.75, ages 2-11 $5, children under 2 free.

MONKEY: Born Mar. 16, 2008
Zookeepers were thrilled at the arrival of Matani, whose name means "strength" in Swahili; he's the first Schmidt's red-tailed guenon monkey to be born at the zoo in 29 years. Matani and his parents, Malaika and Kabili, use their tails for balance as they scamper around the Wortham World of Primates.
Who Knew? Among various guenon species, Schmidt's have a reputation for being friendly and charming. They can live in groups of up to 50.
Aww… See the photo

Lincoln Park Zoo
2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago, Ill., 312/742-2000, lpzoo.org, free.

MONKEY: Born Mar. 13, 2008
One-year-old Suriqui, a Bolivian titi monkey, loves to carry around his baby sibling, Madeira, named after a major tributary of the Amazon River. The baby clings so tightly to parents Delasol and Ocala that the zookeepers haven't been able to tell yet whether Madeira is male or female. Stay tuned—Madeira has a well-baby check scheduled for mid-June.
Who Knew? When two or more members of a titi family sit next to each other—whether awake or sleeping—they have an endearing habit of twining their tails together like a braid.

FROGS: Hatched Feb. 16, 2008
These new Solomon Island leaf froglets hatched fully formed, not as tadpoles like most frog species, and they're teeny enough to perch easily on a fingertip.
Who Knew? The Lincoln Park Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which has declared 2008 the Year of the Frog. It claims that half of the world's 6,000 amphibian species could disappear in our lifetime—the largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Find out more at lpzoo.org.
Aww… See the photo

CROCODILES: Hatched Sept. 21, 2007
The zoo's oldest resident, dubbed R1, became a father for the first time at 69 with the hatching of these five dwarf crocodiles. You can find the babies at the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House.
Who Knew? Dwarf crocodiles are shy, nocturnal, and, not surprisingly, the smallest of crocodile species. They tend to reach about five feet and are native to sub-Saharan west and central Africa.
Aww… See the photo

LANGUR: Born Sept. 6, 2007
At birth, Fusui had apricot-colored fur, but as this François' langur matures, his fur is becoming black like that of his parents, Pumpkin and Cartman.
Who Knew? Endangered langurs make their home among the highland forests of Vietnam and southeast China and like to sleep in limestone caves.
Aww… See the photo