Norfolk, Va. - They're cute and cuddly, just like any other kid.
That's why so many families are coming to the Virginia Zoo--to get a close up look at its newest generation of babies.
"It`s very exciting they love to see the baby ones." said zoo visitor Heather Darden. "They always want to see the mama, the daddy and the baby of every [animal]."
This year has brought a baby boom for the Virginia Zoo with nearly a dozen births.
The exhibits are popular. We saw the zoo's newest giraffe, Joshua, chasing geese today.
Baby Siamang monkey Gunther was enjoying the September sun with his mom.
"The kids and us get to see how they are as a family; just like for them to see how the animals have families, just like we have families," Darden said.
Not only has the boom contributed to a nearly 20 percent bump in attendance; but the zoo's veterinarian, Amanda Gutherie, says it also contributes to the conservation of species.
If we only have geriatric animals and they pass away, we sort of are always taking away from the populations," Gutherie
said. "That is not always ideal. We want to give back to the population. By having babies, we are making a contribution, and that`s really what we are here for."
Gutherie has been busy this last year, not only keeping the little ones healthy, but also caring for them herself--when new mom's can't.
"[Demitri the porcupine] is just a few months old. We have actually been hand rearing him in the hospital for a couple of months now because his mom wasn't taking care of him," Gutherie said.
The zoo is taking action to keep these babies and their species alive--with the birth of a new generation.