Springtime might be when the weather warms up, but it is also baby time! What better way to celebrate than to explore the cute, interesting, and amazing world of baby animals!
Here are some fun facts you may not have known about your favorite baby animals.
Giraffes are named like cattle, with females being called cows, males are called bulls, and babies are called calves. Gestation lasts around 15 months, and calves arrive into the world at about 6 feet tall and up to 150 pounds! Although they look awkward, within about an hour they can stand and walk around. Their little horns are flat when born but stand up within about an hour as well. They also grow very quickly and will roughly double their size by the time they reach a year old. The entire herd helps raise calves, with mothers taking turns watching over groups of calves.
Kinkajous also called sugar or honey bears, are mammals that live in tropical areas, like rainforests. They are related to raccoons, and gestation lasts 100-120 days. Baby kinkajous are born one or two at a time and are blind for the first week or two of life. They don’t usually eat solid food until they are between 3 to 5 months old. After they are weaned, they start venturing away from their mom more, climbing trees and playing. Baby boys tend to leave when they are around 18 months, but baby girls stay around 2 years.
If you’ve ever seen a baby hippo, you know exactly how cute these guys are! They have the same proportions as their adult counterparts, with short legs, barrel chests, and huge mouths, only smaller. Called calves, baby hippos are between 50 and 100 or so pounds when they are born. Mother hippos are pregnant for just eight months and have one baby at a time. Calves live on milk at first, but quickly start eating grass within three to four weeks after birth. It takes five to seven years for a calf to be considered fully mature.
Porcupines might be covered in sharp quills, but they are still quite cute, just as long as you keep your distance! Baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are even more adorable! Mother porcupines are pregnant for up to 31 weeks, depending on the species. April through May is considered the baby season for porcupines, as this is when most porcupettes are born. It takes porcupettes up to 2.5 years to mature, but most species only stay with their mom through the summer after their birth before venturing out on their own. When they are born, their quills are actually soft, but they harden up over a few days.
Of course, we know that all animals, babies, and adults, are special and amazing. When you visit the park you’ll see all sorts of interesting animal friends, and you never know, maybe you’ll see a baby too if you’re lucky.