Caution: What you're about to click through may cause uncontrollable squealing and unusual heart melting due to the avalanche of cute baby animals. Take a deep breath, prepare your best squee and check out this month's most aww-inducing newborns and critter kids from across the globe.
SUMATRAN TIGER CUB
The birth of this female Sumatran tiger cub last week surprised keepers at Point Defiance Zoo, even though they’d administered several ultrasounds over the past few months. Sadly, the cub’s mother is not nursing her, so the zoo’s staff has been bottle feeding her. Sumatran tigers are critically endangered and rarely born in captivity. This cub still doesn’t have a name.
GOLDEN-HEADED LION TAMARIN BABY
If you visit the Santa Ana Zoo in California, you’ll get to see this striking newborn golden-headed lion tamarin. These monkeys are extremely rare, found only on the Atlantic coast of Brazil, itself one of Earth’s most endangered ecosystems. Golden-headed lion tamarins have been listed as endangered since 1982.
PYGMY HIPPO CALF
The new Sumatran orangutan baby isn’t the only newborn endangered animal they’re celebrating at Gladys Porter Zoo. This adorable male pygmy hippo debuted at the zoo just last week. The hippo’s birth isn’t delightful just because he’s one of the cutest baby animals we’ve ever seen, but also because with fewer than 3,000 of the species remaining on Earth, every new birth is important.
PRZEWALSKI’S HORSE COLT
This unnamed male colt born at Zoo Praha in the Czech Republic is a horse, yes, but not just any horse. As a Przewalski’s horse, he is one of few of his kind left in the world. At their lowest point, there were only 12 of these horses left on Earth. Thanks to breeding programs over the past couple of decades, their numbers have rebounded, but they remain endangered.
ROTHSCHILD’S GIRAFFE CALF
This 6-week-old Rothschild’s giraffe is exploring its outdoor enclosure for the very first time at the Duisburg Zoo in Germany. Rothschild’s giraffes are the most highly endangered subspecies of giraffe on Earth, due primarily to habitat loss. There are fewer than 670 of these animals left in the wild.
POLAR BEAR CUBS
These two polar bear cubs, one female and one male, were born in the fall, but they were put on display on just this month, we assume because Zoo Brno, which they call home, was afraid zoo visitors would overdose on cuteness. They cubs aren’t named yet, but Zoo Brno is asking the public to vote for the best names out of 12 candidates for each cub.
ROTI ISLAND SNAKE NECK TURTLE HATCHLINGS
These six Roti Island snake neck turtles hatched two months ago at Bristol Zoo Gardens in the U.K., although they are pictured here at 1 month old. Their species has become critically endangered primarily by over-collection by those who wish to keep or sell the rare turtles as pets. They are now legally protected.
BRAZILIAN TAPIR CALF
Inca is a 2-month-old baby tapir who lives at Howletts Wild Animal Park in the U.K. Because Inca was born during the winter, he hasn’t been seen much by visitors, since he was inside staying warm. But now that spring is here, he’s been outside playing more and more. Inca's spots and stripes are common to tapir calves, but they will fade away after a few months.
SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN BABY
Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered. With fewer than 7,000 living in the wild, the orangutans have a good chance of being the next ape species to go extinct. This newborn baby, Maya, represents hope for the species. Maya is extra special because she is now the third generation of Sumatran orangutans on display at Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, after her mother and grandma.
CLOUDED LEOPARD CUBS
These three cute little bundles, two females and one male, actually represent two separate litters born on the same day at Nashville Zoo. “Nashville Zoo is a leader in clouded leopard conservation, with 18 clouded leopards born at our off-exhibit breeding facility since 2009,” said Karen Rice, the zoo’s carnivore supervisor.
MHORR GAZELLE FAWN
This Mhorr gazelle fawn is named Ebo, and he was born in February at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden in Hungary. These animals are one of the most endangered species in the world. No more remain alive in the wild. That’s why the breeding program at this zoo is so important, and why Ebo’s birth is such a big deal.
Next: First Babes of Spring
LIMOSA HARLEQUIN FROGLET
The sapo limosa, aka limosa harlequin frog, is a species native to Panama, endangered by habitat loss and a disease, chytridiomycosis, that is specific to amphibians. This tiny froglet is the successful product of a breeding program run by the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. The program may be the last chance for this species to survive.