CINCINNATI — Saturday marked the start of Zoo Babies Month at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Which means large signs will mark the spots where babies and expectant moms can be found at the zoo.
“Apparently there was a good amount of monkey business going on during the pandemic,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “There are babies all over the Zoo. Reptiles, mammals, insects, and lots of birds!”
Some of the zoo's new babies include a wallaby named Zip by Facebook fans and two little blue penguins named Mars and Rover who hatched in January. Mars and Rover just joined the rest of their colony in the new penguin habitat in Roo Valley.
Ori the Verreaux’s eagle owl is training for their debut at the Wings of Wonder Bird Encounter on May 28.
While the babies are definitely cute, Maynard said they are a powerful tool in the conservation effort.
“No question that baby animals are adorable, but they’re also great ambassadors for their species,” said Maynard. “They can inspire visitors to care about their wild counterparts and take action to protect them.”
Expert matchmakers put careful thought into which animals are paired for breeding. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Species Survival Plan programs work together to make sure zoo populations are as genetically diverse and healthy as possible.
Zoo Babies starts Saturday and runs through May 31. The event is free with regular admission.