In Kaikoura, New Zealand, a forest trail begins along a crystal-clear stream that feeds into the Pacific Ocean. But it doesn't take long before you realize you're not on any old hike.
Are those dogs barking? Splash! What was that big, black creature that just swam by? Ten minutes into your hike, the mystery is revealed: hundreds of baby fur seals are having an unsupervised pool party. These pups are leaping, twirling, and diving into the freshwater pool fed by a raging waterfall.
It's just as uplifting to behold a mammoth leatherback turtle hatch her 80-to-150 eggs on the shores of Trinidad or to watch as a baby giraffe take its first wobbly steps in Kenya or to hold an alligator emerging from its shell in Louisiana. After all, tiny babies spread enormous doses of joy and a renewed hope for the future, be they hawk or hippopotamus (or human).
For the animal lovers and wildlife photographers, spring and summer are the prime times to observe rambunctious youngsters and their fiercely protective mamas, whether out in nature or in a preserve. You can book a trip to cuddle a koala in Queensland, spot rare cave chicks in Cook Islands, or peek in on the world's teeniest primates in Peru.
Read on for more details about where to see adorable baby animals.
See All the Best Places to See Baby Animals