Spring has sprung at Lincoln Park Zoo with the arrival of six new baby animals: four red wolf pups, one western lowland gorilla and one eastern black rhinoceros. Beyond being positively adorable, these four-legged creatures are all endangered species—making these births an extra special occasion for the free-to-attend zoo.
The newest member of the zoo, a tiny black rhino, was born on Sunday to parents Kapuki and Maku, two eastern black rhinoceroses. Mother Kapuki was pregnant for 15 months before giving birth to the still-unnamed calf, who was standing up 53 minutes after being born—an important and impressive milestone, according to zoo staff. The sex of the calf hasn't been announced just yet, and the animal isn't yet visible to the public. Follow #RhinoWatch on Twitter and Instagram for updates and objectively adorable photos.
The zoo's five other newcomers seem to be settling in nicely. The western lowland gorilla (also unnamed) was born on Mother's Day on May 12. The last time mother Rollie gave birth was in 2012; the new male infant joins a family of seven gorillas. “As with any birth, we are cautiously optimistic about the latest arrival," says Curator of Primates Jill Moyse. "Rollie is an experienced mother who is displaying appropriate maternal skills and care." The ape building reopened to the public on May 18.
Last month, the zoo also welcomed four critically endangered red wolf pups—the first litter the zoo has seen in nine years. Mother and mate Becca and Rhett were bred as part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. “Scientists estimate there are less than 30 red wolves left in their native habitat of North Carolina meaning species is on the very brink of extinction in the wild,” says zoo curator Dan Boehm. “We could not be more ecstatic for the arrival of these pups to help save this species and bolster the population.”
Plan your next visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo this summer to visit the newest additions and support rare endangered species. In the meantime, check out oodles of squeal-worthy photos of baby animals below.