The Cincinnati Zoo should be on your to-do list for May.
In addition to May being generally fantastic weather, it’s also Zoo Babies month! All month long, the Zoo’s newest members take the spotlight, with 6-feet-tall blue storks alerting visitors of the newest and cutest babies.
We were there earlier this week, walking the entire Zoo in search of baby sightings. Here are my kids’ favorites:
Pottos are nocturnal primates (so you’ll find them in the Night Hunters building). Like their monkey relatives, pottos are adept tree climbers, and actually spend most of their time in trees. They have big eyes and kind of look like Koalas (that’s Julian’s comparison, which I think works!) and/or Ewoks (Mary’s observation). Otto the Potto was born last December, and the kids thought he was adorable!
To be honest, we rarely venture down to Wildlife Canyon (because I usually end up carrying a 22 pound toddler and it’s a lot of steps for my other two). However, every time we do visit it, I’m reminded of how cool it is! Knowing there was a baby takin there, we made a point of stopping by.
A takin looks like a cross between a goat and a buffalo, and is a relative of the musk ox (the horns on its head are a dead giveaway!). The kids thought the takins looked like “reindeer with longer hair.” Dale, the newest member of the Zoo’s takin clan, was adorable. We first heard about Dale after his birth last year, which made headlines because his mom “rejected” him. Dale was bottle-fed by Zoo staff and bonded with Blakely the dog for his first few months; then, at four months, he and mama reunited.
At the entrance to the Children’s Zoo are penguins — cute, water-loving penguins. The cutest of all penguins are the Little Blues, which are the smallest species in the world (a full-grown adult is about a foot tall). The cutest of the cutest penguins, then, is a Little Blue baby. Bowie is teeny-tiny, and Harvey kept cooing “awww” and pointing excitedly. (Bowie can be identified by her pink and purple bands.)
Also — she’s named after the late music legend David Bowie — so you know she’s one cool bird!
2. Cheetah Cubs
Who can’t resist a kitten? If you like cats, you have to head to the Children’s Zoo to see these guys. There were 4 cubs; three born in March and one born on Feb. 25, which happens to be Julian’s birthday. (So, needless to say, that one was his favorite.)
Julian’s birthday buddy was born at Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR, where he was not able to be cared for by his mother. Wildlife Safari and the Cincinnati Zoo, both members of the cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (BCC), agreed that it would be beneficial for the single cub to join the other cubs being cared for in the Zoo’s Nursery. Those cubs were part of a litter of 5 born prematurely; two passed away, and the remaining three are getting around-the-clock care. Before leaving, we blew kisses and sent some love the cheetahs’ way!
These gorillas were the star of the show — and, we were lucky to see them out, playing and interacting with the rest of the pack! Mary’s been obsessed with gorillas since toddlerhood, naming her favorite stuffed gorilla Gladys after the baby gorilla born just a few months after she was.
Mary’s interest in gorillas has inspired our who family to learn more about these peaceful primates. We make a point of saying hi to the gorillas every time we visit! We don’t always see any gorillas out during out visits — so it was such a treat to get to see the whole pack out playing together!
Clockwise from left: Otto the Potto, Dale the Takin, Bowie the Penguin, Cheetah Cub born on Feb. 25 and Elle the Gorilla. Photos courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo.
Need more incentive to go to the Zoo? On Sunday, May 8, admission is free for moms in honor of Mother’s Day!
I personally cannot think of a better way to celebrate moms (human and animal) than at the Zoo.