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10 Animals Born This Year Who Are More Rare Than a Royal Baby

10 Animals Born This Year Who Are More Rare Than a Royal Baby
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Even if you weren’t really paying attention to the news this past week, it was hard to avoid coverage of the birth of the baby now known as Prince George Alexander Louis on July 22. The newborn, otherwise known as the “royal baby,” was hardly the only notable birth this year. Quite a few new babies who are endangered species — rarer even than a royal baby — have been born in 2013.

1. A Malayan Tapir

Earlier this month and for the first time in 20 years, the Minnesota Zoo welcomed the birth of a rare Malayan tapir, a tropical animal that is one of the most endangered in southeast Asia. The new calf was born after a 419-day gestation period (a pregnancy that was long even by tapir standards). For the first six months, the tapir calf will look like a “furry watermelon with legs,” albeit one weighing about 20 pounds — but it will weigh about 450 pounds in a year. With a face more resembling an anteater’s or pig’s, the tapir’s closest relatives are horses and rhinoceroses.


2. Twin Giant Panda Cubs

Baby asleepPhoto via Jay Alvin Dimla/Flickr

A giant panda, Lun Lun, gave birth to twin panda cubs on July 15. The cubs (both boys) are the first pandas to be born this year in the U.S. and the first twins to be born since 1987; they join three older brothers born to Lun Lun and Yang Yang at the Atlanta Zoo. As pandas can only care for one cub at a time, keepers are placing one in an incubator while his brother remains with Lun Lun. Now with a brood of five, she is certainly an experienced mother.

3. A Clouded Leopard

Reshmi, a clouded leopard, gave birth to a baby on June 8 at the Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura, one of 42 breeding centers in India. Fewer than 10,000 clouded leopards remain in their habitat in the Himalayan Mountains between India and China; six clouded leopards, who are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN and endangered in the U.S.. live at the Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary. They are thought to be the evolutionary link between small cats and big cats and to have a primitive form of saber-toothedness like that of saber-toothed cats 10,000 years ago; due to their rarity, scientists have not been able to study them much.


4. A Spectacle Monkey

The Sipahijala Wildlife Sanctuary welcomed the birth of another rare animal, the spectacle monkey or Phayre’s leaf monkey, on May 28. Living exclusively in trees, the adults have distinct white rings around their eyes. The spectacle monkey is now listed as endangered as a result of habitat degradation, hunting and human settlement; their numbers have declined more than 80 percent in the last 20 years in Bangladesh alone.


5. Three Chacoan Peccaries

Video via SDZoo/YouTube

Three endangered Chacoan peccary babies were born on June 19 at the San Diego zoo. Peccaries are medium-sized piglike mammals that are thought to be the closest living relative to Platygonus, an extinct genus that lived thousands of years ago. Only about 5,000 peccaries remain in the wild in Paraguay, with several thousand more estimated to live in Argentina and Bolivia. Habitat destruction and disease have taken a huge toll on the numbers of peccaries in the wild.

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Photos via Thinkstock (unless otherwise noted)

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6:07PM PDT on May 16, 2015

Love the babies - it's a travesty they are so rare.

7:56AM PST on Dec 21, 2014

THANK YOU for your time and for posting! Awesome!

7:58AM PST on Dec 4, 2014

♥◕╰დ╮ THANK YOU for sharing with us! ╭დ╯◕♥

4:07AM PST on Nov 24, 2013

Treasure other lives like ours

1:40AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

7:58AM PST on Nov 4, 2013

wooooow incredible !!

12:51PM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

we went and saw the baby tapir at The MN Zoo....adorably cute.....I realize there are many who don't like any zoos, but unfortunately they are not going away at this time and many actually try to be humane and do good for wildlife today and in the future.....

1:38AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013


6:42PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

Loved these.

4:00PM PDT on Aug 22, 2013

Thanks for a very informative and entertaining post. Wishing all these babies long, healthy lives and better chances for their species in the wild!

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