Australian zoos hit with adorable baby boom

While the world's been in lockdown, animals around the country have been getting busy birthing a sway of cute, cuddly (and not so cuddly) critters.

Keepers at Melbourne Zoo have had to double as baby-catchers, with the state enjoying a "baby boom" of otters, snow leopard cubs and a cotton-top tamarin monkeys.

Victoria's Healesville Sanctuary also saw their female baby platypus, Storm, emerge from her burrow for the first time and Chimbu the baby tree kangaroo has been entertaining staff with his new-found hopping skills - using his mother's tail as a skipping rope.

Chimbu the baby tree kangaroo has been entertaining staff with his new-found hopping skills — using his mother’s tail as a skipping rope. Picture: Zoos Victoria
Chimbu the baby tree kangaroo has been entertaining staff with his new-found hopping skills — using his mother’s tail as a skipping rope. Picture: Zoos Victoria

 

Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary also saw their female baby platypus, Storm, emerge from her burrow for the first time. Picture: Zoos Victoria
Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary also saw their female baby platypus, Storm, emerge from her burrow for the first time. Picture: Zoos Victoria

 

"We love our zoo babies and this year there has been a bit of a baby boom, which has been wonderful, especially for the endangered species that are part of vital breeding programs. That's been the case with our small-clawed Asian otter pups and our snow leopard cubs," Zoos Victoria chief executive Dr Jenny Gray said.

 

"I can't get enough of the otter pups. We've been watching their parents giving them swimming lessons. They are just so adorable, so full of personality."

 

Baby otters at Melbourne Zoo. Picture: Zoos Victoria
Baby otters at Melbourne Zoo. Picture: Zoos Victoria

 

King penguins and their chicks at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. Picture: Supplied
King penguins and their chicks at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. Picture: Supplied

 

NSW and WA have also become otterly-obsessed of late, with Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Perth Zoo both welcoming litters of Asian small-clawed otter pups in April.

And just like we've been hosting Zoom meetings, the otters at Taronga rose to the social distancing challenge, allowing keepers to watch the birth via CCTV cameras.

 

Black-flanked Rock-wallaby Ruby having a bottle feed. Picture: Zoos SA
Black-flanked Rock-wallaby Ruby having a bottle feed. Picture: Zoos SA

 

Twin babies Santiago and Matteo are critically endangered Cotton-top Tamarins recently welcomed at Taronga Zoo. Picture: Taronga Zoo
Twin babies Santiago and Matteo are critically endangered Cotton-top Tamarins recently welcomed at Taronga Zoo. Picture: Taronga Zoo

 

Taronga Zoo Sydney has been treated to double the joy with the birth of twins Santiago and Matteo, two critically endangered cotton-top tamarin monkeys.

The twins have spent much of their life being cared for by their dad and older brother, with male tamarins often doing the lion's share of the parenting.

Of course, if you're going to be born during a global pandemic, it's only fitting to be named accordingly.

 

Quilton, the Hamadryas Baboon, born at Melbourne Zoo during Australia's great toilet paper crisis of 2020. Picture: Zoos Victoria
Quilton, the Hamadryas Baboon, born at Melbourne Zoo during Australia's great toilet paper crisis of 2020. Picture: Zoos Victoria

 

A baby snow leopards at Melbourne Zoo. Picture: Zoos Victoria
A baby snow leopards at Melbourne Zoo. Picture: Zoos Victoria

 

There's Quilton, the hamadryas baboon born at Melbourne Zoo on March 10, at the peak of Australia's toilet paper hoarding crisis, while king penguin chick Quentin Quarantino earned his coronavirus-inspired moniker after Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium ran a naming competition.

If you want to get involved in the fun, Taronga Zoo is running a similar contest to name its male hippo calf. Stay tuned to the zoo's social media for details.

Originally published as Australian zoos hit with adorable baby boom