The delivery stork had a direct flight path to the Dallas Zoo last year! With more than 2,000 animals, we often welcome little ones. From (really) long-legged babies to ones the size of your palm, here’s a roundup of some of our exciting and noteworthy births in 2014:
TASANEE: Born Jan. 25, Asian small-clawed otter Tasanee needed more than 100 days of devoted care from her keepers, because single otter pups usually don’t survive. Tasanee weighed just a little over 2 ounces at birth, about the size of a “C” battery. She’s now a healthy five pounds and is full of sass! She’s very close with her parents Jimmy and Daphane who can often be seen diving deep down into their pools together or snoozing away, cuddled up with each other.
MSHINDI: Look at that face! Still very much a baby, Mshindi turned one year old on Jan. 26. For another two years or so, he’ll remain completely dependent on his mother, Ramona, for care. He’s now eating small amounts of food (bananas are his favorite), but also will nurse for another few years. Mshindi is the ninth member of the troop, and the first baby born since his brother, Kona, arrived in 2009. He’s added a positive dynamic to the troop’s complex social structure, especially with Kona, who has proven to be a great big brother.
OBI: Born March 28, Obi is the first mandrill baby at the Zoo in 24 years. This little guy has a lot of energy and is often seen bouncing all over his habitat, throwing small branches in the air and playing peek-a-boo with guests. Monkeys develop much faster than great ape babies, like chimp Mshindi. Obi no longer nurses and is now completely independent from mom Saffron. But she’s still the little guy’s favorite playmate (she has incredible patience!).
KOSOKO: This kori bustard chick still has some growing to do before he officially becomes the largest flying bird on Earth, weighing nearly 40 pounds. Born June 25 at just a half a pound, Kosoko is now a healthy 15 pounds. After multiple years of trying, Kosoko is the first surviving offspring for his parents — which is where he gets his name. From the African Yoruba language in Nigeria, “kosoko” means “child born after mother has had other children die.” It’s meant as a prayer for babies’ survival — and we couldn’t be more thankful for Kosoko’s health and well-being.
KOPANO: We welcomed this leggy, 6-foot-tall baby Oct. 26. Born weighing about 120 pounds, Kopano is now nearly 8 feet tall and over 300 pounds! He’s starting to munch on vegetation like mom, but will keep nursing until he’s about a year old. He’s doing great mixing with the other species in his habitat, including impala, ostriches and guineafowl. He’s also still meeting all 11 members of his herd. Guests can often see him running laps around his habitat while mom Chrystal eats.