It seems it's baby animal season in Chicago, where zoos and the aquarium have seen more than ten births since the start of summer. Of course, the most important part of any new life is receiving the proper care from mom and the rest of the family, but being cooed over by adoring visitors is a close second. 

Since May, about a dozen of these babies have joined the populations on public display at Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium. Here are the chicks, calves, and cubs roaming the enclosures of Chicago on their (relatively, in some cases) little feet. 


Sloth Bear Cubs at Brookfield Zoo

Photo: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

"Mom, we're almost four months old. We can walk around the enclosure by ourselves."

Born: January 20, 2013

Species: Melursus ursinus

Gender: one male, one female

Although they were born in January, these sloth bear cubs spent three months in a maternity den with their mother, Hani, before their public debut in the Fragile Kingdom area on May 8. The first successful sloth bear births at Brookfield since they first appeared at the zoo in 1946, the male and female cubs will continue to ride through on their mother's back—a unique trait of the species among bears—until they reach about a third of her size. 


Rockhopper Penguin at Shedd Aquarium

Photo: Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

"I'm practicing for when I learn how to fly. Wait, what do you mean I won't ever fly?" 

Born: June 2013

Species: Eudyptes chrysocome

Gender: Unknown

This little chick is doing well in the open nesting area near the aquarium's Polar Play Zone, where it lives with its parents. Just 75 grams at birth, the chick grew to 1,019 grams in its first month of life. 


Trumpeter Swan Cygnets at Lincoln Park Zoo

Photo: Christopher Bijalba/Lincoln Park Zoo

"First one to the water wins!"

Born: June 5, 2013

Species: Cygnus buccinator

Gender: male and female

The six cygnets hatched in June were the first of the endangered species born at Lincoln Park Zoo since 2009. After four months of growing (to three times their birth size!) the hatchlings will join the 35 other swans the zoo has released into the wild during the last decade. That reintegration program has contributed to a surge in wild trumpeter swan populations across the the midwestern wetlands. For now, though, these little ones can be seen in the zoo's Hope B. McCormick swan pond. 


Addax Calf at Brookfield Zoo

Photo: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

"Yeah, I've been standing since I was like two hours old. No big deal." 

Born: June 7, 2013

Species: Addax nasomaculatus

Gender: Male

Among the newest generation of this endangered antelope species, this male was born in early June to mom, Sara, and dad, Winston. A second calf was born on June 22, and two other females from the Brookfield Zoo herd are expecting this summer. All can be visited in their enclosure along the zoo's 31st Street path.


Giraffe at Brookfield Zoo

Photo: Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society

"Mother, I love you, but you are embarrassing me in front of our guests. I can fix my hair later." 

Born: June 21, 2013

Species: Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata

Gender: Male

Brookfield Zoo is no stranger to giraffe births—there have been 59 there so far—but this latest calf is no less exciting for it. At 5-foot-9-inches and 173 lbs, the calf stood shortly after birth and has since joined his mother, Jasiri, and the rest of the herd in Habitat Africa! The Savannah. His older half-brother, Dave, was born in November and can also be seen at the exhibit.