L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

Category: Your Morning Adorable

Your morning adorable: Wallaby joey sucks its 'thumb'

We can't help but be delighted when a video like this one shows us just how similar humans and animals can be. YouTube user chrismorinbc captured this wallaby joey on video while traveling in Australia and points out that the baby is sucking its "thumb" just like a human baby might!

We're quite convinced there isn't a wallaby in the world that isn't adorable -- if you need any more evidence, check out Hannah, a red-necked wallaby joey peering out of her mother's pouch at Australia's Taronga Zoo, or Chai, a rescued agile wallaby joey caught on video taking her very first hops -- but we have to rank this little guy very high on our ever-expanding list of cute wallabies.

Your morning adorable: Parma wallaby joey drinks from a bottle at Cincinnati Zoo
Your morning adorable: Keepers raise wallaby joey in Tokyo zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: chrismorinbc via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Koala joey makes her debut at the San Francisco Zoo

Baby koala at the San Francisco Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo is still celebrating the birth of its newest koala joey -- despite the fact that she was born back in 2010.

Zoo staff first discovered the baby when they checked the pouch of her mother, Zakary, in December. Since koalas are born a little, shall we say, underdone, they remain in their mothers' pouches for months after birth; the joey didn't emerge fully from Zakary's pouch until February. She debuted to media photographers earlier this month.

The joey is the first koala to be born at the zoo since 2000. She hasn't yet been named.

The San Francisco Zoo is a participant in a conservation breeding program designed to help koalas bounce back from a steep population drop that's due in part to an outbreak of stress-induced chlamydiosis among wild members of the species. Both Zakary and the joey's father, Travis Jr., came to the San Francisco Zoo from the San Diego Zoo as part of a temporary loan agreement.

See more photos and video of the joey after the jump!

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Your morning adorable: What's cuter than a north China leopard cub in a basket? Not much

North China leopard cub

The battle for the title of cutest animal baby at the Berlin Zoo is a hotly contested one — think wolf pups, a guanaco calf, caracal kittens, African lion cubs and moose calves, all stunningly adorable in their own way — but we think this north China leopard cub gives them all a run for their money.

The cub, a female named Nekama, was born at the zoo in early January but made her official debut before media photographers on Tuesday.

The north China leopard is one of nine recognized leopard subspecies, rather closely resembling its relative the Amur leopard. As an adult, Nekama is likely to weigh around 70 pounds.

See more photos of Nekama after the jump!

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Your morning adorable: Baby Francois' langur monkey makes his debut at Australia's Taronga Zoo

Baby Francois' langur monkey at the Taronga Zoo

At the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, a great deal of excitement surrounds the latest addition to the resident family of Francois' langur monkeys. A male Francois' langur named Keo-co was born Jan. 30 and ventured into an outdoor enclosure for the first time on Wednesday.

Keo-co's older sister, Elke, was born in 2009 and was the first offspring for mother Saigon. Unfortunately, Saigon didn't immediately take to motherhood and zoo staff elected to raise Elke themselves in order to ensure that she was healthy and well cared for. (Elke is now fully grown and still lives at Taronga, but she occupies a different enclosure than Saigon.)

This time around, Saigon seems to have gotten the hang of parenting and the zoo reports that Keo-co is extremely bonded to her. He is being raised both by Saigon and another resident female Francois' langur monkey, Meili. "The two mothers take care of him -- Saigon is the primary caregiver but when she needs a break Meili takes over; they take it in turns," Taronga primate keeper Roxanne Pellat told Australia's AAP news service.

Francois' langur monkeys are native to parts of Vietnam and China. They're endangered in large part due to hunting as a result of their use in some traditional medicines; they're also the victims of habitat loss and other common causes of wildlife population decline. Though members of the species are born with vivid orange coloring, their fur darkens as they age; adult Francois' langurs are primarily black with white markings.

See more photos and a video of Keo-co after the jump!

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Your morning adorable: Tamandua takes a drink

So what if your snout is specially designed to eat ants and other insects? That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a nice beverage, right?

That's the position of this tamandua -- a member of the anteater family -- who lives with YouTube user and devoted life-with-tamanduas video chronicler TamanduaGirl. (For the record, although the title of the video above says the tamandua is drinking wine, it is actually drinking juice, according to the owner's written description accompanying the video on YouTube.)

Tamanduas -- which are native to parts of Mexico, Central and South America -- survive primarily on a diet of insects in the wild. But TamanduaGirl supplements her pets' insect-heavy diets with raw ground beef, flax meal, beans, spinach, cottage cheese and shrimp.

If you, like us, find the idea of exotic pet ownership a little troubling, let us note that the cute fellow above was a rescue whose original owners had to find a new home for him due to illness. He was not a candidate for release into the wild.

Plus, in the wild there's no ready access to one of his favorite snacks: cheese.

Your morning adorable: Baby southern tamandua takes a ride on mom's back
Your morning adorable: Ticklish baby anteater masters the fine art of jazz hands, blows our minds

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: TamanduaGirl via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Enthusiastic bird Marnie celebrates his birthday with toys and waffles

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish one of our very favorite birds a happy belated birthday.

Marnie, a blue Indian ringneck bird with a deep and abiding love of stuffed animals, celebrated his fifth birthday on March 5.

We'd previously seen Marnie have a big reaction when he received a stuffed rabbit as a gift from his owner, YouTube user chesawoo, who has described the bird as "a natural charmer, a polite Casanova who is not shy to ask for what he wants...which is often a kiss!"

For his birthday (hatchday?), he got more plush toys and ate a celebratory meal of waffles. Not a bad way to spend one's birthday!

Indian ringnecks are one of several types of rose-ringed parakeet and are known among bird lovers for their impressive talking ability.

Video goodness: 'Dancing' hummingbird grooves to Al Green
Your morning adorable: Parrot holds her own spoon to eat peanut butter

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: chesawoo via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Rare pygmy hippopotamus born in Swedish zoo


At the Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna, Sweden, the birth of a rare pygmy hippopotamus is a big deal. The baby, a male named Oliver, was born Feb. 15 to mother Krakunia.

As a newborn, Oliver had a bit of a close call because Krakunia, a first-time mother, didn't allow him to nurse. Parken Zoo staff found an interesting way around this problem, as the Telegraph explains:

So desperate were the zookeepers to keep Oliver alive that eventually one of them managed to milk Krakunia, thus allowing them to feed the youngster by hand.

According to the zookeepers, milking a hippopotamus was a world first. Since hippos are large, potentially dangerous animals -- even when pygmy-sized -- they have until now been considered far too dangerous to milk.

Now that's a dedicated zookeeper. Since then, Oliver has been sticking close to Krakunia, and the zoo says he's now thriving.

Pygmy hippos, which were classified as endangered in 2006, are native to parts of western Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Fewer than 3,000 members of the species are thought to remain in the wild.

See more photos and video of Oliver after the jump!

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Your morning adorable: Young rabbit eats baby food

Want to make an astoundingly adorable video of your baby rabbit?

Here's a tip: Feed him baby food with a spoon.

That recipe for cuteness worked just fine for this little guy, a Holland lop who's a little more than 3 weeks old and already a big fan of banana-flavored baby food.

According to his owner, the baby-food feedings were intended to supplement his diet because of concerns that his mother wasn't producing enough milk for him. "He needed to put on some weight so he gets some [baby food] every day," she wrote on YouTube.

One more tip: If you're in a hurry, try skipping ahead to about the 1:30 mark -- you won't be sorry.

Your morning adorable: Rabbits twitch their noses while sitting in paper cups
Your morning adorable: Snacking rabbit tries to hold a baby carrot in his paws

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: cluelesschick24 via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Otter performs agility

When we think of the sport of agility, it's usually dogs, not otters, that leap (no pun intended) to mind.

But dogs don't have a total lock on agility skills; we've seen pigs, rabbits, chickens and even hamsters complete obstacle courses with remarkable proficiency. (Some cats even compete in the sport.)

But we've never before seen an agility otter.

This fellow has impressive abilities in the fields of weave pole-running and jumping -- not tasks we normally expect an otter to perform. And he looks pretty darn cute doing it; we can't imagine a more adorable agility performer, barring a giant panda taking up the sport.

Your morning adorable: Giant river otter pups at Zoo Miami
Your morning adorable: Baby otter plays with plush walrus, cat toy ... and another otter!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video credit: KyushuWalkerCH via YouTube

Your morning adorable: Giant river otter pups at Zoo Miami

Two Giant River Otter pups

The birth of two giant river otter pups in Florida earlier this year is big news both for their endangered species and the zoo where they were born.

The pups -- one male and one female who haven't yet been named -- were born at Zoo Miami on Jan. 31 to mother Kara and father Witoto. They are the first offspring for both parents and the first members of their species to be born at Zoo Miami.

The babies and their parents were kept in seclusion until recently and made a rare appearance last week during a veterinary checkup. (Both pups are reportedly in good health.)

Giant river otters are native to South America, where their population has been adversely impacted by hunting. Though these little guys only weigh about 2 to 3 pounds now, as adults they'll weigh as much as 75 pounds and measure up to 6 feet in length!

See another photo after the jump; if you're itching to see more photos, Zoo Miami has an extensive photo gallery at its Facebook fan page.

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