6. A Steller Sea Lion
Photo of sea lions including a pup in southern California via Ken Lund/Flickr
A Steller sea lion pup was born on June 20 to 13-year-old Eden and 20-year-old Woodie at the Alaska SeaLife Center. The new female pup is the first to be born at the Center and the first born in North America since the 1980s. Researchers estimate that about 15 percent of Steller sea pups born in the wild do not survive more than a week; another of the Center’s sea lions, Tasu, had delivered a stillborn pup just weeks before. The new pup’s birth is definitely something to celebrate: the overall population of sea lions has declined by 80 percent over the past 30 years. About 40,000 are estimated to live throughout the Northern Pacific Rim from Japan to central California.
7. A Southern Pudu
Photo via Marie Hale/Flickr
Native to Chile and Argentina, the Southern Pudu is the world’s smallest deer. One was born on May 3 at the Queens Zoo far from her native rainforest habitat, which has been vastly altered due to logging, agriculture and cattle ranching. Southern Pudus have been over-hunted and captured illegally as pets; they also are very susceptible to diseases from parasites. The new Pudu in Queens was born to parents Josephine and Hamilton and will weigh about 20 pounds when full grown.
8. An Indian Rhinoceros
Video via Cincinnati Zoo Tube/YouTube
Born on June 5 at the Montgomery Zoo in Alabama, Ethan already weighs a couple hundred pounds. He is reportedly thriving and is the first rhino born in the U.S. to be conceived via artificial insemination; Jeta, Ethan’s mother, was injected with frozen sperm from a Cincinnati Zoo male rhino collected in 2004. She had previously given birth to two rhinos naturally; her caretakers attempted artificial insemination after there was “behavioral incompatibility” between her and a male rhino. Ethan is one of about 60 Indian rhinos in captivity in the U.S.; only about 2,500 survive in the wild.
9. Amur Tiger Twins
Two amur tigers were born on July 6 at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas. The two new cubs were naturally conceived; earlier this year, their mother, Talal, had given birth to one conceived via artificial insemination but the cub died after 36 hours. The largest of the species of tigers, only about 40 amur tigers remained in the wild by the 1940s. Thanks to strict anti-poaching policies, about 450 are estimated to live in their native habitat in the Russian Far East and northern China.
10. A Przewalski’s Horse Foal
Photo via Buckeye Beth/Flickr
Also known as the Mongolian wild horse or the Asiatic wild horse and the last remaining breed of wild horse, a Przelwalski’s horse foal was born in June at the Denver Zoo. The Przewalski’s horse lived on the German and Russian steppes to Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northern China until the late 18th century. Afterwards, its numbers declined precipitously; a wild one was last seen in 1969; starting in the 1990s, they have been reintroduced to Mongolia.
Photos via Thinkstock (unless otherwise noted)
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