Baby boom: These are the insanely adorable animals born at the Houston Zoo in 2021

These cute lil’ critters will tug at your heartstrings

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Images courtesy of the Houston Zoo

Animals born at the Houston Zoo in 2021

If you love baby animals (And, seriously, who doesn’t?), it was an awww-some year at the Houston Zoo. The beloved Hermann Park institution welcomed some insanely adorable bundles of joy into the world in 2021, including Asian Elephant calves, ocelot cubs, and a teeny-tiny lemur. If you need a dose of ooey-gooey, dopamine-induced euphoria, scroll below for a gander at the zoo’s newest residents.

Winnie the Asian elephant: born March 10

On March 10, the Houston Zoo welcomed a new baby elephant. (Houston Zoo)

Winnie was born to Asian elephant Tupelo, 10. The female calf weighed in at a whopping 284 pounds. Tupelo is a first-time mother, and her pregnancy was the result of artificial insemination since she is related to all the male elephants at the zoo.

Teddy the Asian elephant: born May 16

Newborn Asian elephant Teddy (Houston Zoo)

Two months Asian elephant Winnie was born, the Houston Zoo welcomed another pachyderm to its herd. On May 16, 37-year-old Asian elephant Tess gave birth to a 391-pound male name Teddy, who began to nurse within hours. Tess is an experienced mother to Tucker (15), Tupelo (10), and Tilly (2). Her calf’s father is 55-year-old Asian elephant Thailand.

Wasabi and Sriracha, rare Ocelot twins: born May 29

Baby Ocelots 2021 (Houston Zoo)

Two healthy ocelot cubs were born on May 29 to mom, Genoveve. The brother and sister duo were named for their “spicy attitudes.” The pair were the first ocelot births at the zoo in 20 years. Ocelot Wasabi passed away in August after falling from a tree.

Four painted terrapins: hatched in July

2021 Baby Terrapin (Houston Zoo)

Over several weeks in July, four painted terrapins hatched at the Houston Zoo. It was the first time the zoo hatched painted terrapin turtles, one of the 25 most endangered turtle species in the world. At the Houston Zoo, adult painted terrapins can be seen at the Wortham World of Primates, in the water and on the shore, of the orangutan moat.

Cleo the ring-tailed lemur: born Aug. 2

The Houston Zoo recently welcomed it’s newest bundle of joy -- an adorable, no name lemur.

In August, the Houston Zoo welcomed a new bundle of joy -- an adorable lemur named Cleo. Born Aug. 2 to experienced mom, Cairrean, the ring-tailed lemur weighed just three ounces at birth.

Three green oropendola chicks: hatched in August

Baby Chicks 2021 (Houston Zoo)

The Houston Zoo has gathered one of the largest flocks of green oropendolas that has ever been assembled in North America, with 15 adult birds. As a result, three chicks hatched in August. This is the first time the Houston Zoo has ever raised green oropendolas in its nearly 100-year history. Guests can see adult green oropendolas inside the Savanna Aviary, part of the Zoo’s newest exhibit, South America’s Pantanal.

Rare Blue-billed Curassow chicks: hatched in November

The Houston Zoo successfully hatched two new Blue-billed Curassow chicks yesterday. Considered some of the most critically endangered birds, the Houston Zoo will be hand-rearing one chick (cared for by a person after hatching) and using the blue-billed curassow hen to parent-rear the other chick.

In November, the Houston Zoo successfully hatched two blue-billed curassows -- one of the most endangered of all bird. One of the chicks was hand-reared while the other chick was parent-reared by a blue-billed curassow hen. The zoo has housed blue-billed curassows since the 1960′s. The birds are endemic to Colombia and are considered critically endangered. According to the Houston Zoo, there are less than 2,500 blue-billed curassows left in the wild.

The Houston Zoo is located in Hermann Park at 6200 Hermann Park Drive. For more information, visit houstonzoo.org.

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What’s the most adorable animal you’ve seen at the Houston Zoo this year? Share your responses below. Share your Houston wildlife snaps here.


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.