ZOO BABIES 2008
Where Are They Now?
We caught up with some of the cuties featured last year to see how they're progressing. Compare before/after photos in our slide show and find out how much giant panda cub Mei Lan now weighs, what Asian elephant Mac did for his first birthday, and which youngster's no longer a shy mama's boy.
  |  Monday, May 19, 2008

National Zoo

SLOTH BEAR: Balawat, 2, is now exhibited separately from his mom, Hana, though she's still protective and occasionally nurses him. Bala's been trained to show his paws and have his teeth brushed (only rarely does he try to steal the brush).

PANDA: Giant 181-pound cub Tai Shan will celebrate his third birthday on July 9. With any luck, he may soon have a younger sibling. It's panda mating season at the zoo, and keepers are closely monitoring his mom, Mei Xiang, who was artificially inseminated in mid-March. Check nationalzoo.si.edu for the latest news and footage on the panda cam.

Zoo Babies 2007: National Zoo

San Diego Zoo

SUN BEAR: Make time for a San Diego visit soon if you want to catch Bornean sun bear cub Bulan. She's gotten so big—almost 86 pounds—that she won't be there much longer. Public relations representative Andrew Circo warned us there are plans in the works to transfer Bulan to another zoo in agreement with the Species Survival Plan, which promotes maximum genetic diversity in a breeding population.

ELEPHANT: Litsemba's African elephant calf is now named Punga, a nickname for Impunga ("experienced advisor" in SiSwati). He whiles away the time with best friend and half sister Khosi, who's just six months older, and baby Kamile, whose mom, Umoya, was pregnant at press time last year.

OKAPI: Akin Ali, a calf with zebra-like legs and a velvety dark brown upper body, is temporarily on loan to the Los Angeles Zoo.

RED RIVER HOGS: Triplets Oboi, Okang, and Mosi have undergone dramatic changes in the past year—and not necessarily for the better. They're as big as any healthy adult hog now and have traded their cute stripes and perkiness for a lumbering, heavyset look.

Zoo Babies 2007: San Diego

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