I grew up in an animal-loving family, or an animal-crazy family, depending on whom you ask…
We were that household that received all the pets that were too much for other families to care for any longer. We got roosters with crooked beaks that had to be mixed and fed special gruel. We had pot-bellied pigs in the yard. We had hand-me-down (and brand-spankin’-new) iguanas. I had one I’d carry around on a little leash for a while, and my sister had one that appeared in most of my 4th grade classmates’ school pictures. (You know those ones where you could bring something you were interested in, say, a soccer ball or ballet slipper?)
What I’m trying to tell you here is that I am well versed in the ways of animal cuteness.
And a few years before I really caught the baby fever and had a few little mammalian cuties of my own, I started being pretty much melted into a little pool of happiness by the sight of adorable baby critters from the animal kingdom, as well.
It’s as if all things have come together perfectly to prepare me for this challenge, folks, and I can barely believe that it’s my happy job to present for you today 22 of the cutest animal babies that you’ve never seen before…
22 Sonic The Cutie-Pie
In some countries, these things can be seen roaming through parks and along sidewalks, much like seagulls where I live or pigeons in the Big Apple.
And though I’ve visited some of these cities during my travels, I’ve never seen a baby one.
It’s a little baby hedgehog, and its face is enough to make your heart melt – am I right? Look at those squinty little eyes, big soft ears, and itty-bitty black nose! And they are all surrounded by what looks like incredibly soft fur.
This little guy appears to be a tiny face, hands, and feet sticking out of a small poof ball of fur. It’s almost too good to be true.
He looks so helpless, staring up at the camera, with his little pink feet and hands… And he’s so small that he fits easily into the palm of a hand!
21 Talkin’ ’Bout Takins
This is Meg. Meg is a “takin,” apparently.
Perhaps you know her by her other names, the “cattle chamois” or “gnu goat.” No? Me neither.
But I do know that she is adorable. Look at the way she nuzzles her mama -- just like my baby does with me!
What the heck is she? Well, I’m told she’s some sort of goat-antelope creature. If you want to see her in her natural habitat, you’ll have to travel as far as the Eastern Himalayas.
Luckily, we’ve found this picture of her to share with you right now. The momma and baby standing so sweetly together make us swoon.
And what really gets us is that the mom is so incredibly cute, too!
Clearly, there is a loving bond here between caring mother and sweet little child.
20 What Rhymes With “Moth” And Takes Five Years To Do Anything?
Guys, can you even handle it? The way this little fuzzy creature stares happily up from a bucket of stuffed animals that he quite closely resembles in both size and appearance? It’s almost too much.
But can you even tell what it is? I’ll give you a hint, but I’m trying to (appropriately) set it up very… very… slooooooowly…
Get it? It’s a baby sloth!
You probably recall these docile, cute climbers as those furry things that live in trees and take their sweet time to move from one point to another.
We wonder how long it took this little one to get to a hanging position over the edge of this bucket!
Ohhhh, just so sweet! The huge nose, the big brown eyes… Is “sloth” a sin? Nothing associated with this guy’s name could ever be bad.
19 Not Your Everyday Panda
Everyone has seen a Panda, at least in pictures and on TV. It’s the hilarious local news cliché, that the biggest story of the year is when a baby panda is born at the county zoo. They are like the poster children for cuteness.
But have you ever heard of a “red panda”? I hadn’t!
Peering out curiously from behind a tree, this furry friend looks almost fake. It just doesn’t seem possible that a creature could be so beautifully colored, so perfectly posed, and so adorable.
Wide eyes stare straight forward, giving a human-like quality to the sweet face.
And how about those paws? They’re jet black and cling tightly to the trunk of the tree, making us think about delightful topics such as hugs from a baby, or cuddling.
18 Snug As A Bug
This pile of poof with a sweet little face sticking out of the middle of it is actually a litter of “African painted dogs.”
While clearly these canines somewhat resemble the puppies we are quite familiar with, you’ll notice immediately that the ears are quite huge. Additionally, the pups’ fur has unusual and intricate markings (almost as if they look “painted” on, huh?).
I like to imagine these little guys and girls are all snuggled up to keep warm as the sun sets, their watchful parent nearby or maybe out hunting for a midnight snack.
And one observant pup looks up straight at the camera, surrounded by his snuggling bros and sisters.
Do you kind of wish you could be in his place, surrounded by the fuzzy-wuzzy pack? Sure looks comfy!
17 Have To Let It Langur?
Sure, we all know what a monkey is. My toddler has delighted in belting out “oooo-ooooo, ah, ahhhhh!” from the time she realized she could control the sounds that came out of her mouth. And every picture book about animals features one. Then, of course, there’s that classic (very reminiscent of a preschool-aged human child) monkey Curious George.
But have you ever seen a langur monkey before, and a baby one, at that?
We had to include at least one type of monkey here, especially exotic and interesting though he may be, because our relatives in the animal kingdom really get us right in the heart every time. They’re just so much like us!
Those big eyes and exaggerated features remind us so much of a human baby looking innocently up at us. And the way they cling to their mamas to be carried about town, er, I mean the zoo or jungle… It’s all very familiar.
16 Wise Young Owl
Ah, the owl, often appearing to be a fierce and stealthy bird of prey. It comes out at night to hunt. It’s always portrayed in cartoons as the wise, old, seasoned character.
It’s mysterious and watchful and very hard to get a good glimpse of in the wild.
But here, for your viewing pleasure, it’s a little guy with a huge ole head and big eyes staring up at you.
Teeny tiny talons grasp at nothing as a human hand holds it delicately. Pretty speckled markings decorate the feathers of the tiny face, and the little guy or gal quite honestly looks a bit worried.
I would be, too, if I normally slept in the day time and came out under the shelter of night to find my food in solitude.
15 Alvin And The Cutie-Pies!
A far cry from Alvin and the Chipmunks, this real-life baby version of that animal sweetly rests on what appears to be the photog’s own hand, resting with arm up as if on a pillow all settled in for a good rest.
Its tiny eyes are shut, and its itty-bitty tail drapes softly down the holder’s fingertips, which leads us to contemplate just how tiny this little creature really is. It rests with head midway down this person’s palm, and yet its tail barely hangs off the edge of the fingers. I just held out my own hand to think about just how small that is, and oh my! Teeny, tiny, little thing!
Its soft little fur parts for just a tiny gap to allow thin, miniscule ears to poke through, also quite fuzzily.
We hope this baby was safe, sound, and secure and returned to the wild.
14 Beach Babes
This one hits close to home for me – literally. But it may be quite alien for you, unless you also reside in coastal California.
Tourists travel from all over the world to this destination for many reasons, including to visit historic landmarks such as the California missions and Hearst Castle. While they’re up by that last famous old (and lavishly decorated) abode, they often stop at San Simeon at the elephant seal rookery.
These aren’t animals you want to get too close too. The males are very large and very aggressive. Plus, they’re wild animals, so it’s always wise to observe from a respectful distance and certainly not touch or provoke or interfere in any way.
And this, my friends, is a family shot! A male, female, and pup appear on the sand.
13 Florida’s Cutest Resident?
Well, many residents of Florida may be quite advanced in age. But not this one!
This little guy or gal (we’re not sure which, but it sure is cute, right?) is a Florida pygmy marmoset. It’s a “finger monkey”!
And what makes some creatures really, really over-the-top cute? That they’re just so gosh darn tiny!
And just like our own tiny babies, this little love nibbles carefully on what appears to be a piece of cereal, most likely an off-brand Cheerio, from the looks of things. (If you are not yet a parent, brace yourself for the inevitable time in your future in which these toasted wheat O’s will be in every nook and cranny of your home, car, and possibly also office – if you plan on having kids, that is.)
12 Hogging The Spotlight
By now we’ve all seen (on the Internet if not in our friend or neighbor’s backyard) the teacup pig. But I bet you haven’t ever come face to face with this porcine pal.
It’s the red river hog, and these little cuties are just wee, wee, wee (he he he… I couldn’t help it) babies.
These two, in particular, were born to a first-time mom! Can any of you new or expectant mothers reading this today identify?
Their birthday was June 27 of this year, according to the Houston Zoo’s website. And these little ones deserve special recognition, it seems, because they were the first litter of little hogs to be born at the zoo since the animal was brought in a few years ago. Well, now, isn’t that special?
They are pictured scampering about the dry river bed that is part of the exhibit that is their home.
11 Rodent King
Lucky for you, this shot brings you not one, not two, but – count ’em – FIVE adorable baby animals, all trotting along beside their lovin’ mom.
If you’ve been searching for the largest rodent there is, look no further. And also look how cute and itty bitty those babies are!
These ones were photographed at the Berlin zoo. Don’t they look almost proud as they hold their heads just so and scurry delightfully along?
Do they remind you, in a sense, of guinea pigs? I think I sort of see it in the snout.
I almost expect to see a tail poking out the back, but no. So in that regard, they may bring to mind the household hamster.
Sized more like pigs that the animals you’d normally think of when you hear the word “rodent,” it’s no wonder these things have been called the king of the rats (in the hilarious and smart show Futurama).
10 Merely Some Brotherly Love
What’s sweeter than a hug from your brother or sister? Especially as your parents watch proudly on…
These two cuties seem to lean on each other for support, a comical expression on each of their pointed little faces.
Their fuzzy fur sticks up from the top of their heads and off the sides of their tiny bodies.
And it’s the way meerkats stand up like this that makes them such attention grabbers, I think.
They always appear to be checking out what’s going on in the distance, or sniffing the wind for what’s nearby and what, perhaps, is to come.
And just what the heck are meerkats? They’re actually a type of mongoose!
Now unless you’ve poked your head down a burrow in Africa, you’ve probably never seen one of these cuties in the wild. Maybe you’ve caught a glimpse on TV or at the zoo, if you’re lucky.
9 Crane That Neck To See
The Santa Barbara Zoo has had what’s seemed to be a baby boom of late, and in one of their most popular and well recognized exhibits.
It’s been especially lovely for me to follow along as multiple giraffe babies have been carried in their super tall mama’s bellies and delivered to the excitement of the community (okay, Facebook…) because I’ve also been pregnant, labored, and given birth to two babies of my own over the last few years.
I have special maternal associations for these little guys and gals. And there’s nothing like watching them “find their legs,” which are incredibly long, of course. They wobble around a bit but then amazingly quickly are trotting about, playing, and reaching food from high-up places just like their moms.
And these giraffes are even helping to propagate a unique genetic line!
8 Cold-Blooded Cuteness
You again get more for your money, so to speak, on this one, folks, because here lined up quite tidily for you are four tiny baby tortoises.
They’ve just hatched. And they’re so small that they all easily fit lined up along what appears to be a woman’s hand. Heck, you could probably fit four more of them on there, no prob!
Tortoises, as I recall, can live very, very long lives, some even longer than humans. They can also grow really rather large! And this is the only state I’ve personally ever seen then in before – mature and quite big, hard, and weathered, perhaps eating some lettuce in a backyard enclosure or basking in the sun at the zoo.
That’s why these itty-bitty ones are really blowing my mind.
7 Li’l Boy
This year at the Cincinnati Zoo, a baby named Moyo was born. He graced the world with his presence on February 12.
The big eyes and big ears are what really pull you in. And then there’s that captivating gaze…
Now you may be wondering what the heck Moyo is. We were, as well, and it turns out he is a creature called an “okapi.”
His haunches and legs might remind you of a zebra, with their beautiful stripy pattern. The okapi wasn’t even discovered until the 20th century, and its closest relative these days would actually be the giraffe. Not exactly the stuff of your everyday animal picture books, these guys definitely deserve a good few minutes or more of googling.
Apparently, it has fur, it’s endangered, with a population that’s been decreasing, sadly, since the ’90s, and the taller specimens stand about as tall (at the shoulder) as an adult (human) woman.
6 Whiskered Critter
Look at those bright eyes and the head cocked to one side! This little one looks like it might be a mischief maker.
It’s a “red ruffed lemur,” and it’s that incredibly unique appearance (as well as those huge and attention-grabbing eyes) that make it so appealing. And by appealing, we mean Cute with a capital C.
It’s small enough to be lounging quite comfortably, it seems, on the gloved hand that holds it.
And is it just me, or do its emerald eyes actually look quite human? It has reddish fur and a sweet little snout, and I keep trying to make associations about who it reminds me of in the animal kingdom, though I’m always left at a loss. That whiskered snout and little brown nose are not quite cat, certainly not dog, and not so much bear.
All I know is this little mammal has stolen my heart.
5 W Is For … Wombat?
Next time you’re trying to teach your tot her letters and stumble as you get to the end of the alphabet before saying, again, that W is for “whale,” consider instead this little bare cutie.
It’s a hairless baby wombat, and it looks in this pose sort of like when people try to prop their newborn human babies up to take a quick picture.
The little guy or gal is slumped over slightly, arms seeming to rest quite limply on the tea towel that holds it.
While those claws look like all business (and great tools for climbing), that pink little body looks as babyish as they come.
Check out those little black eyes shining serenely. It’s enough to melt your heart.
And those whiskers and eyebrows sprout out so delightfully!
4 Precious Metal Monkey
Guys, can you even handle this one?
It’s the golden snub-nosed monkey, and its sweet little pose and perfect little arms and feet tucked up and folded just so – not to mention that silky, pretty fur – have us convinced our lives are changed for the better because we have seen it.
That little face poking out from amid the fur looks so kind and innocent, doesn’t it? The poor little thing looks almost frightened, in fact, so hopefully it wasn’t disturbed too much by the taking of this picture.
I love how that extra little whispy tuft of fur sticks up just so, too.
And, I mean, I’ve seen a few different types of monkey in my day, but I’ve never before seen a “snub-nosed” one. Its fur looks so clean, shiny, and silky! Everything about it just appears so tiny, petite, and sweet.
3 A Kiss And A Cuddle
It is the contrast, perhaps, that amazes me in this shot. The adult bison is huge, weathered, and intimidating, with enormous horns protruding from the head and shaggy, matted fur draping off every which way.
And then there’s the little baby, appearing almost to receive a kiss from its loving parent.
The young bison rests delicately on the grass, and the watchful parent hovers over it.
Just think how much growing that baby has to do before it catches up in size with the adult!
That’s a lot of grass to be eaten and a lot of bulk to amass!
How funny to see this innocent little thing and know that it’s a bison. It’s not some massive, strong, intimidating thing bravely roaming the wild – just yet.
For now, it sits calmly, hooves folded delicately under, safe and sound.
2 Little Big Man
How do you manage to be both a baby and giant all at once? How adorably illogical!
This shot features a baby “giant anteater.”
Hugging tight to rolled up linens, this little one was born at the Santa Barbara Zoo on March 1, 2014. Wow, I guess that makes it a toddler by now! Or maybe an adult… I’m not exactly sure how long it takes giant anteaters to reach maturity.
Look at that peach fuzz of fur starting to come in! Check out that long, long snout.
Okay, some may say this is a face only a mother could love, but we think it’s tooooo cuuuuuute. And we figured you might, too.
This little critter looks so helpless, clinging tightly, dark eyes gazing outward from the side of the head.
1 Wish They All Could Be California Birds
These little loves have had quite a hard time surviving in the wild of late, and it’s all our fault. In taking away their natural habitats and using lead ammunition, in creating tiny “micro-trash,” we didn’t exactly set them up to succeed.
But in very recent years, the population has increased again, thanks to a focused effort of the last few decades. The huge, majestic (if a bit vulture-y) birds are hatched and cared for in captivity, the better to survive and thrive.
If the mom in this picture looks a bit odd, it’s because she’s a puppet used by the San Diego Zoo as part of their efforts.
Here’s hoping that this special creature will be born and flourish more and more often in its natural habitat as the years pass by.
Sources: Pinterest.com, CincinnatiParent.com, ComoZooConservatory.org, HoustonZoo.org, Facebook.com, NationalGeographic.com, Wikipedia.com, Google.com