The Thoughtful Animal

Baby Animals at the LA Zoo

I’ve been a bit remiss in posting much this week, mostly because I had to prep a guest lecture (from which I just returned, and it was awesome thankyouverymuch) on the Domestication of Social Cognition.

In the meantime, now that spring is here, baby animals are starting to pop up all over the LA Zoo. I haven’t managed to make it to the zoo yet to see them, but in the meantime, enjoy these pictures (click each one to enlarge) provided by the zoo itself.


This baby koala (not a bear! koalas are marsupials, like kangaroos) was actually born on July 6, but because koalas, like kangaroos, spend the first six months of their lives in their mothers’ pouches, Baby Fergie has only just begun to emerge from her mom’s pouch.

Georgie & Baby-Fergie 2-14-11_Tad Motoyama 8706.jpg

Then, on March 1, two Peninsular pronghorn, one male and one female, were born. These ungulates (hoofed animals) are native to Baja California Sur, in Mexico, and have the rare skill of being both sprinters as well as long-distance runners. According to the zoo,

Newborn pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate, clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.

Pronghorn Twins 3-3-11_Tad Motoyama 9887.jpg

Finally, March 20 saw the birth of a female desert bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep are native to the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and there are some that live in the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, though they have been threatened by wildfires, drought, predators, and disease. According to the zoo,

The most recognizable characteristic of the bighorn sheep is the male’s massive, spiraled horns and their majestic faces. These horns may add up to one third of their total body weight when they’re full grown. Females have much smaller horns.

In this picture, the baby tries to gnaw on mom’s horn.

Big Horn Sheep-Baby Chewing on Mom's Horn 4-2-11_Tad Motoyama 1599.jpg

All images by Tad Motoyama/Los Angeles Zoo.

For more baby animals, be sure to check out ZooBorns.

Comments

  1. #1 amy robbins
    April 26, 2011

    I love baby animals. They are safe in the zoo is what I feel. It’s nice to hear stuff about them in how they are doing or when the zoo keepers talk about them in giving us information that means they do care about the animals.

  2. #2 anthonym
    April 26, 2011

    I think it is great that the animals are making it to the zoo maybe it is good that they are reproducing. If animals are endangered they need to be put in an enviroment that will keep them safe.

  3. #3 Colton V
    April 26, 2011

    I really thought this post was interesting. I didn’t know that the pronghorns took their first steps within 30 minutes of being born. I also didn’t know they could run up to 40 to 60 mph. I think these animals have a better chance to live in the zoo than out in the wild. Especially being so small. Another plus is having good zoo keepers that care about the animals their taking care of.

  4. #4 Colton V
    April 26, 2011

    I really thought this post was interesting. I didn’t know that the pronghorns took their first steps within 30 minutes of being born. I also didn’t know they could run up to 40 to 60 mph. I think these animals have a better chance to live in the zoo than out in the wild. Especially being so small. Another plus is having good zoo keepers that care about the animals their taking care of.

  5. #5 melina
    April 27, 2011

    I must say that the bighorn sheep picture is cute. an my family used to rise sheep and goats, they can be a pain with the horns and all but when you get to the babies that is all the defenses. Going to zooborn didn’t work so I this that it can weight.