These black footed ferrets are just some of the remarkable arrivals of 2009 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
What do 39 black footed ferrets, six Eld’s deer, five red pandas, four chameleon forest dragons, three clouded leopards, two burrowing owls, and one western lowland gorilla add up to at this time of the year?
Not a new holiday song! They represent a successful 2009 baby boom at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation and Research Center.
All in all, the Zoo has bragging rights to more than 600 babies (400+ were cuttlefish) in the past year including Kibibi, the adorable female gorilla born in January, followed by three equally lovable clouded leopard cubs – two born in March and a singleton born this past summer.
Other esteemed births/hatchings for the Zoo in 2009 include endangered species: black and rufous giant elephant shrews (six), elegant crested tinamous chicks (four), wattled cranes (three), Kori bustards (two), and one each of a giant anteater, dama gazelle, maned wolf, przewalski’s horse and Stanley crane.
Photo Credit: Mehgan Murphy, National Zoo