Zoo babies rock the cuteness scale. Zoos allow us a rare opportunity to come face to face with baby animals we would have a slim chance of seeing in the wild. Here are five zoos with newly minted creatures from around the world.
Five Asian small-clawed otter pups born to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are adorable — and serve as important ambassadors for the at-risk species.
These otters face many dangers at home in the coastal waters of Southeast Asia, including habitat destruction, pollution and hunting. The three males and two females born Jan. 26 should be on display by late spring, depending on the weather.
Other babies to look for at this zoo: a silvered leaf langur baby and a Humboldt penguin chick, native to Chile and Peru.
If you visit the Nashville Zoo this spring, take a minute to seek out its newest Baird's tapir. The male baby was born March 7 and weighs about 22 pounds. These types of tapirs, native to Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America, are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
You'll see the tapir (provided the temperature is warmer than 60 degrees) with white stripes on its back. Those markings disappear after about a year.
Info: Nashville Zoo
A baby Masai giraffe and her mom, Audrey, have been on view at the Santa Barbara Zoo since late March. The baby's statistics were jaw-dropping: She weighed about 180 pounds and measured 6 feet 1 inch tall when she was born March 14. These types of giraffes are native to East Africa.
The public was asked to vote on what the zoo baby's name. Amirah, which means "princess" in Swahili, was selected..
Info: Santa Barbara Zoo
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park welcomed a baby polar bear in December, the first one born in the United Kingdom in a quarter of a century.
But even zoo officials didn't see the newborn until he was caught on cameras pointed at the bears' den. The white ball of fluff finally took a few steps outside its enclosure.
Polar bear cubs are born blind and weigh little more than a guinea pig, according to a zoo news release. The sex of the bear hasn't yet been determined.
Buy tickets in advance if you want to go to this zoo, which typically sells out.
Info: Highland Wildlife Park
Sumatran orangutans are considered critically endangered in the wild, with an estimated 14,600 currently living mostly in Indonesia's northern Aceh province.
The Denver Zoo increased the population by one. Cerah (pronounced "Che-rah") was born March 25. In their native home, the orange-furred orangutans live almost exclusively in trees in tropical rainforests, feasting mostly on figs. The mother and baby are expected to go on display this week.