CINCINNATI (April 30, 2021) – It’s about to get cute at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden during the 36th annual Zoo Babies, presented by Dawn. Throughout May, large signs will mark the spots where babies and expectant moms can be found at the Zoo.
“Apparently there was a good amount of monkey business going on during the pandemic,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “There are babies all over the Zoo. Reptiles, mammals, insects, and lots of birds!”
One baby just got a name! Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook fans voted and picked “Zip” as the name for the baby wallaby that jumped out of his mom’s pouch for the first time last week.
Little blue penguins Mars and Rover, named as a nod to NASA’s successful Mars landing, hatched in January and just joined the rest of their colony in the new penguin habitat in Roo Valley. Visitors can see them there during Zoo Babies. Mars has a blue arm band, and Rover’s is red and green. Ori the Verreaux’s eagle owl is training to be an ambassador and will make its public debut on May 28 during the first Ameritas Wings of Wonder Bird Encounter of 2021.
“We are thrilled to partner with Dawn this year on our Zoo Babies event,” said Maynard. “Dawn is such a natural fit for this partnership because of its long history being used to rescue wildlife affected by oil production. Many people may not know that Dawn has also been used here at the zoo for years in the hand rearing of baby animals and to keep habitats clean.”
Fiona is now four years old but still has that baby face that the world fell in love with in 2017 when she was a tiny, premature hippo fighting to survive. Other big Zoo Babies include Eastern black rhino Ajani Joe and giraffe boys Theo and Fenn. The smallest baby is a dead leaf mantis that fits on a fingertip. Click here for a complete list of this year’s Zoo Babies.
Most of the babies that are born in accredited Zoos are not the result of a happy accident or special stork delivery. Expert matchmakers from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs put careful thought into which animals should be put together for breeding. The goal is to make Zoo populations as genetically diverse and healthy as possible.
“No question that baby animals are adorable, but they’re also great ambassadors for their species,” said Maynard. “They can inspire visitors to care about their wild counterparts and take action to protect them.”
Zoo Babies starts tomorrow and runs through May 31! The event is FREE with regular Zoo admission. The Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. Cincinnati Zoo members enjoy early entry at 9 a.m. Reservations are required for all visitors. For more information visit www.cincinnatizoo.org.