Get ready to coo and ahh your way through the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park while visiting the new, adorable baby animals on display. Get a peek here at Taj the greater one-horned rhino calf, Leslie the baby gorilla, Tombi and Ilangha, the cheetah cub sisters, a mandrill baby named Ajani and a Rodrigues fruit bat pup named Lucas. Their pictures are too cute for words, but seeing them in person can’t be beat!

gorilla-san-diego-zoo-safari-park                                                                                                                                              Photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Look at that sweet little face! Leslie is the baby “girl-illa” of doting and attentive mother, Kokomo, who holds her close constantly. Leslie’s father Winston protects the troop of eight critically endangered gorillas at the Safari Park. Since 229- pound Kokomo is often toting Leslie in her arms, be sure to check there first to catch a glimpse of this little bundle of joy.

cheetah-cubs-san-diego-zoo-safari-parkPhoto: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Who else wishes they could cuddle this darling duo? These cheetah cubs are named Tombi, which means “girl” in Zulu, and Ilangha, which means “sunshine” in Zulu. The mother of these spotted sisters would not care for them, so they are being raised by animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where they can been seen in their nursery at Nairobi Station between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Zulu and Ilangha will eventually end up at the San Diego Zoo to join the sustainable cheetah population the Zoo has been building for over 40 years, but for now they’re enjoying plenty of playtime and nap time.

rhino-taj-san-diego-zoo-safari-parkPhoto: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Taj means “crown” or “jewel” in Hindi, and this male rhino’s birth is vital, as he joins only 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos that remain the wild. Since 1975, Taj is the 70th greater one-horned rhino to be born at the Safari Park, which is the most prolific breeding facility in the world for this species. Taj nurses from his mother Tanaya about twelve times a day. As an herbivore he will graduate to eating grasses, hay and pellets. He weighed a whopping 160 pounds at birth and he currently weighs around 275 pounds! When Taj is fully-grown at 3 years of age, he’ll weigh in between 4,000 to 5,000 pounds! Visit Taj in all his splendor at the Safari Park.

mandrill-baby-san-diego-zooPhoto: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Look at that adorable mandrill baby, Ajani, clinging to his mama, Kesi! This little guy is the first mandrill born at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park in fourteen years, where more than 34 mandrills have been born since mandrills first arrived at the zoo in 1923. Visit mom Kesi, dad Jasper and their new baby boy at the zoo on Monkey Trail in Lost Forest.

bat-pup-san-diego-zooPhoto: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

This critically endangered Rodrigues fruit bat pup named Lucas was born via C-section, and sadly his mother did not survive. The Safari Park staff are caring for him around the clock, and he’s shown here clinging to his “sock mom.” Caring for the orphaned fruit bat is no easy feat. His body temperature must be carefully regulated in a controlled incubator that keeps him warm and provides enough humidity to keep his wings pliable. He eats every two hours, and feedings last up to 45 minutes. Afterwards, Lucas gets bathed using a damp cotton ball, and then he’s wrapped in a warm blanket that cradles him like his mother’s wings would have. Meet this marvel at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, Ca
619-231-1515
online: zoo.sandiegozoo.org

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
San Diego, Ca
619-231-1515
Online: sdzsafaripark.org

Which baby animal are you going to visit first? Have any of you already met one of these cuties?

––Beth Shea

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