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Photograph: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami
Photograph: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

16 of the cutest baby animals born around the world in 2020

Forget all those other 2020 round-ups – this is the only one you need

Rose Johnstone
Written by
Rose Johnstone

When it comes to getting that hit of instant oxytocin, it doesn’t get much more powerful than baby animals. In 2020, many of us turned to fluffy paws, squishy faces and tiny pointy ears to distract us through quarantine and cheer us up when things felt bleak. So, as a little gift to you, we’ve put together this list of some of our most treasured 2020 arrivals at zoos worldwide. Turn off your notifications, take some deep breaths and hang out with these adorable creatures for a while – you won’t regret it.

  1. These snoozy snow leopard cubs born at Melbourne Zoo, who became live-stream stars once the city went into lockdown in March.
    Photograph: Melbourne Zoo
    Photograph: Melbourne Zoo
  2. Murphy, Rodney, Gunther and Squid: the adorable litter of four Asian small-clawed otters born at Melbourne Zoo.
  3. These miraculous cheetah cubs who were the first-ever of their species born to a surrogate cheetah mother at Columbus Zoo in Ohio.
  4. Two incredibly rare (and incredibly loveable) clouded leopard cubs born in Miami. They were kept in seclusion for two months with their mother, Serai, to avoid external stress. We can relate…
  5. These fluffy little blue penguins born at the Bronx Zoo. (You can follow their progress here.)
  6. This lovely zebra foal born to mother Sabina and father Gustav at Zagreb Zoo in Croatia.
  7. This ridiculously huggable giant anteater (who apparently loves soft toys!) who arrived at Nashville Zoo.
  8. The very first baby two-toed sloth born at the Virginia Zoo, who spent the first few months huddled close to Honey, its mother.
    Photograph: Whipsnade Zoo
    Photograph: Whipsnade Zoo
  9. These fuzzy wild boar piglets who were born at Whipsnade Zoo near London (they weighed 1kg back then, but can go up to as much as 100kg!). March was a big month for wild boar – over in Barcelona, they descended from the mountains to hang out in the city centre.
  10. This trio of charming hamadryas baboons who grew Sydney Zoo’s baboon colony to 16. They’re also known as ‘sacred baboons’ because they were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, and frankly, we can see why.
  11. Okay, so technically this koala joey was born in late 2019, but after spending seven and a half months in her mum’s pouch, she decided it was time to greet the world in May and emerge from mum Iluka’s pouch.
    Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
    Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
  12. These striking Canada lynx cubs born at the Queens Zoo in New York City. Don’t you just wish you could stroke those huge paws?
  13. This endearingly lanky six-month-old giraffe calf, Ebo, who arrived at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo with her mum Kito just in time for it to reopen to visitors.
  14. This majestic gorilla born at Bristol Zoo, making the future of this critically endangered species a little brighter.
  15. They may be the world’s largest rodent, but there’s nothing off-putting about this cuddly little capybara who shares her Sydney Zoo digs with her parents and eleven cheeky capuchin monkeys.
  16. These two squishy-faced wildcat kittens born at Edinburgh Zoo, who we just want to bundle up and take home.

Now look back on some more actually good bits of the year…

🎬 The best new movies of 2020, and why we love them

🎵 The 15 best new albums that pulled us through this year

📚 The 24 really, really great books that got us through 2020

🍳 The 17 cookbooks that made 2020 taste less awful

👀 The 21 TV shows that helped us escape in 2020

🥇 42 surprising things we achieved this year

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