Two cutes: Zoos celebrate births of rhino and snow leopard

Double cute alert: Baby rhino and snow leopard cub both melting hearts

Two new baby arrivals are making waves at zoos on opposite sides of the pond.

Brookfield Zoo in Chicago have welcomed a gorgeous new snow leopard cub, while the UK's Chester Zoo is celebrating the birth of a rare species of rhino.

Over in Chicago, the snow leopard cub born on 13 June is preparing to make his public debut.

The yet-to-be-named male cub has spent the last two months bonding with his mum, three-year-old Sarani. He is expected to make his public debut in mid-September.

Double cute alert: Baby rhino and snow leopard cub both melting hearts

A senior keeper for the Chicago Zoological Society recently weighed the big cat in at a healthy 10 pounds.

Snow leopards are under threat and are recognised as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Their population - which is estimated between 3,500 and 7,000 in the wild - is declining due to poaching, residential and commercial development, civil unrest, and other factors.

Meanwhile, it's good news for conservation over at Chester Zoo, too, where their greater one-horned rhino, Asha, welcomed her very first calf into the world.

Double cute alert: Baby rhino and snow leopard cub both melting hearts

It's the first time a greater one-horned rhino, or Indian rhino as they are also known, has been born at the zoo and the female calf – named Komala - has raised a smile amongst the keepers.

And keepers didn't even know she was expecting.

Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals, told Aol Travel: "Although we had an inkling that our Indian rhino Asha was pregnant, it was just that, an inkling and a hunch that comes with experienced keepers.

"So, it was a rather marvellous surprise to come in and find that Asha had a big bundle of joy of her own."

Double cute alert: Baby rhino and snow leopard cub both melting hearts

Tim added: "This is a breeding first for us but also a bonus for the population of Indian rhinos which are yet another rhino species being put at risk as they are cruelly and brutally poached for their horn."

Indian rhinos are classed as vulnerable to extinction, with only 3,000 Indian rhinos left in the wild, 2,000 of which can be found in Assam.

The Indian rhino is the second largest living rhino species, with the white rhino being the largest.

Want to see more baby animals? You wish is our command:

Baby zoo animals around the world
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Two cutes: Zoos celebrate births of rhino and snow leopard

These babies, named Sri Kandi (left) and Arjuna (right) were born at Tierpark, Berlin, Germany. They made their debut on 5 March 2012.

Clinging to his mum, baby Changi meets his public  for the first time at Krefeld Zoo, Germany.

This little rhino, named Male, was born in January. He's pictured here with his mother, Mana, at Magdeburg Zoo, Germany.

The zoo at Tierpark in Berlin celebrated the birth of a litter of four dingo babies in January.

Only a few days old, this baby giraffe, named Kimarle, peaks out from her enclosure at the ZOOM Zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. The 170cm tall giraffe was born on March 9.

A one-month-old baby squirrel monkey clings to its mother's back at Qingdao Forest Wildlife Park, China.

A two-week old baby gorilla is cuddled by her mum, Mumba, a Western Lowland Gorilla, at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park near Ashford, Kent.

Born at Cincinnati Zoo,  US, this one-month old hedgehog is being hand reared by keepers until it is old enough to be included in the zoo's outreach programme.

Ludwig the baby elephant is clearly happy to be out and about at the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich.

These cuties were born in February at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

This cub was born prematurely at Toronto Zoo. His mum rejected him soon after he was born, so he was cared for by staff at the zoo. Here he is making his debut in February.

This six-month old baby Western Lowland Gorilla is seen here enjoying the spring sunshine with her mother at Dublin Zoo.


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