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Chicago zoo update: See all the new baby animals this summer

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There’s been a baby boom at Chicago zoos this summer. The city’s newest residents are also some of its cutest, from rare newborn rhinos to friendly sea otter pups. Check out some adorable photos of the baby animals, then go see them for yourself at Chicago’s zoos and aquariums.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago’s oldest zoo is now home to a new crop of baby animals. Their family of western lowland gorillas, a critically endangered species, welcomed two new babies this summer. Bana, a 24-year-old gorilla, gave birth to a healthy infant on June 12. That happens to be exactly one month after the arrival of another male infant, born to Rollie on Mother’s Day. Exhibit hours may vary with the new arrivals, call ahead or check their website for viewing hours of new baby animals.


Rollie and her infant after his Mother’s Day arrival. The baby western lowland gorilla was the zoo’s 53rd gorilla birth. Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby gorilla at Lincoln Park Zoo
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Bana and her new baby at home in the Regenstein Center for African Apes. The infant gorilla doesn’t have a name yet. Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Baby rhino at Lincoln Park Zoo
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The eastern black rhino calf has made his outdoor debut in the Regenstein African Journey exhibit. He was born to Kapuki, 13, on May 19. Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Located just outside Chicago, Brookfield Zoo is a great spot to see baby animals this summer. The zoo welcomed a male sea lion pup, three bat-eared fox kits, five mongoose pups, and seven common peafowl chicks this summer. Exhibit hours may vary with the new arrivals, call ahead or check their website for viewing hours of new baby animals.

Baby sea lion at Brookfield Zoo
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A male California sea lion pup born on June 10 has a name — Charger and can now be seen at Brookfield Zoo’s Pinniped Point. Photo by Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

Baby sea lion at Brookfield Zoo
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Charger, a month-old California sea lion pup made his public debut at Brookfield Zoo on July 12. He can be seen with his mom, Josephine, at the zoo’s Pinniped point. Photo by Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

Bat eared fox kit at Brookfield Zoo
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One of three bat-eared fox kits born at Brookfield Zoo on March 23. The two females and one male—named Helen, Jane, and Edward—were born on March 23. They can be seen with the parents at the zoo’s Desert’s Edge habitat. Photo by ​Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

Brookfield Zoo
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Five mongoose pups were born at Brookfield Zoo on May 20. Photo courtesy Chicago Zoological Society

Shedd Aquarium

A leader in animal care, the Shedd has a few surprise additions this season. In expected arrivals, their beluga whale gave birth to a healthy male calf and two new Magellanic penguin chicks hatched earlier this summer. When two sea otter pups were orphaned in California, the Shedd quickly stepped up to care for the baby critters. Exhibit hours may vary with the new arrivals, call ahead or check their website for viewing hours of new baby animals.

Baby beluga
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Mauyak, a 38-year-old beluga whale gave birth to a healthy calf on Wednesday, July 3 at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Baby beluga at the Shedd
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The aquarium care team estimates the calf to be approximately 5 feet in length and to weigh approximately 150 pounds. Both mother and calf will be in the Abbott Oceanarium and programming will be adjusted to ensure bonding time for mom and calf. ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Baby otters Shedd Aquarium
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Two new otter pups arrived at Shedd on Monday, July 8 and have been thriving behind the scenes, receiving around the clock care from Shedd’s animal care and veterinarian teams. ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez 

Sea otters at Shedd Aquarium
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The orphaned pups were rescued by California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium and arrived in Chicago for care and rehabilitation. Both otter pups are male and only one week apart in age. ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez 

Chicks at Shedd Aquarium
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The Shedd also welcomed two new Magellanic penguin chicks following the annual breeding season that began with nesting in late March. Both eggs were laid by the same pair of penguins, Chile and JR, and hatched in mid-May. ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez 
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