The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

An awww-some spring with newborn and baby animals at the zoo

If you love baby anything, spring could be your season. Newborns often arrive in spring because the animal kingdom, in its infinite wisdom, knows that conditions usually are better for new life to flourish then. Too nervous for newborns? You may prefer the animal equivalent of toddlers, in which case you're also in luck: Last fall's arrivals are just getting to the cute stage.

You can see nature's mammalian miracles out in the wild, but it's a bit easier to hit the jackpot in confined spaces. For instance, the Los Angeles Zoo is home to Uno, a giant otter pup born in November, whom you can see swimming with his parents and siblings. The black howler monkeys also have a new addition to the family this spring.

On the Australian side of the zoo are koala and kangaroo newborns, and the koala joey can now be seen out of the pouch. Two Chacoan peccary babies (an endangered animal that looks a bit like a pig) were born in February.

There is a new Masai giraffe calf strutting around. The as-yet-unnamed baby, born Oct. 9, could grow to as many as 18 feet tall. You can also see 1-year-old Rosie, a female hippopotamus calf, with her family.

In Palm Desert, you'll find African crested porcupettes (those are baby porcupines) at the Living Desert zoo and gardens. The good news for their moms: The babies' quills are soft at birth. The bad news for a mating mom and dad: Their quills can be as long as 13 inches, and they are sharp.

At the San Diego Zoo, you can see spring take wing. You can watch 20 species of butterflies newly emerged from pupae at the Butterfly Jungle, which runs through April 10.

And in the capital-A adorable category, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colo., has three lion cubs: Boma, Elsa and Aslan, born June 25. The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago has two female snow leopard cubs born June 16, and a gorilla named Zachary born Sept. 23.

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