When Sekani gave birth to Adelina, she celebrated like most proud mothers, with a baby shower, a gift registry and a Facebook page for showing off photos of the adorable girl. Except, Sekani and Adelina are western lowland gorillas who live at the Little Rock Zoo.
More than 800,000 animals live at U.S. facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and every year, thousands of those animals have babies. We've scoured the country to select the cutest baby animals at U.S. zoos. Because, let's face it, zoo babies are innately irresistible. Just try not to smile while looking at a baby panda.
"Scientists believe humans are programmed to find baby animals cute because they remind us of our own young," says Chris Eastland, co-founder of ZooBorns.com, a website that obsessively chronicles baby zoo animals, and co-author of ZooBorns: The Next Generation.
Of course, no survey of zoo newborns would be complete without those lovable pandas. At the San Diego Zoo, mama Bai Yun gave birth to Xiao Liwu, her sixth panda cub -- whose name was selected by thousands of participants in an online vote. He can be found toddling around the Panda Trek habitat and is doing his part to bring in crowds to San Diego, the number one most-visited zoo in America.
Read on for more heartwarming stories and photos of newborn animals at zoos near you.