It’s a baby boom: A look at the Indianapolis Zoo Babies

Maybe we’ve got babies on the brain thanks to our new OhBaby! magazine. Or maybe it’s because Nameberry recently released their list of Top Baby Names Of 2016 (So Far). Either way, everything is coming up babies for us this month, and we’re not alone: The Indianapolis Zoo has babies everywhere you look! From lion cubs to meerkats to Calypso the dolphin calf, it’s a baby boom at the Indianapolis Zoo.

With thanks to Zoo staff, we had a chance to do a ‘baby tour’ and see how these little cuties are growing {sometimes up to a foot in their first few months – here’s looking at you, Mshango!}.

To prep for your visit, here’s a sneak of just a few of the Zoo Babies you’ll meet:

The Lion Cubs: Enzi, Mashaka and Sukari

Indianapolis Zoo Babies _ Indy's Child MagazineOh those fiesty cubs – don’t think for a minute that these quiet photos of them at rest are even the truth. The 3 little lions were such a riot to watch the morning of our visit. The boys – Enzi and Mashaka – patrolled the spot where their dad was eating, trying to entice him to come out to play.

Sukari – the sweet girl cub – spent the morning cuddling by her mom and playfully batting at her face. Zoo staffer Kaylie told us the cubs have started getting even more adventurous by climbing on the rocks in their exhibit. They are the first baby lions born at the Indianapolis Zoo since the early 2000s!

The lion cubs are located in the Plains venue of the Indianapolis Zoo.

The Giraffe Calf: Mshango

Indianapolis Zoo Babies _ Indy's Child Magazine

The Indianapolis Zoo shocked us with this revelation: Giraffe calf Mshango {Swahili for ‘surprise’ or ‘amazing’} was born at 6 feet tall in January but now tops 7 feet. Talk about a growth spurt!

Mshango spent the morning of our visit quietly eating with his mom and aunt, all nuzzled in a group together while dad roamed the Plains exhibit with another male giraffe. How Zoo staffer Kaylie could tell the adults apart from each other was startingly impressive! And if you thought you were tired, consider that mom Takasa is actually a mom of 6 calves. Now that’s a full house.

Mshango is located in the Plains venue of the Indianapolis Zoo.

 The Dolphin Calf: Calypso

Indianapolis Zoo Babies _ Indy's Child Magazine

Technically, Calypso the dolphin calf is no longer an infant or ‘baby.’ Born in April of 2015, she’s definitely hit the toddler stage. But seeing her in the dolphin exhibit swimming alongside the others, you’ll notice her immediately for her smaller size and what seems like her youthful bursts of energy.

Calypso is a part of the daily dolphin shows which are free with admission, running at both 10:30am and 2:30pm.

Calypso is located in the Dolphin Pavilion inside the Oceans venue at the Indianapolis Zoo. 

The newest addition: The baby orangutan

Indianapolis Zoo Babies _ Indy's Child Magazine

At the time of publishing, the newest addition of the Indianapolis Zoo – an orangutan daughter born to exhibit momma Sirih – was still in the process of being named. As with most babies, the Indianapolis Zoo turns to their members, fans and social media audience for help with naming. Baby names are narrowed down to 5-6 selections and the final determination is put up for polling to allow Zoo fans to choose. {And these aren’t your ordinary Nameberry monikers – the Zoo tends to offer name choices inspired by the origin of the animal or species.}

Sirih’s baby was born in late March and will look to her mom to learn how to climb and interact with the other orangutans in the Zoo’s exhibit.

The baby orangutan is located in the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo.

RELATED: What should the Indianapolis Zoo name their baby orangutan?


While that was the extent of our Zoo Babies visit, here’s a list of other cuties you’ll find:

  • A baby white-handed gibbon named Kopi born in October 2015 {Forests}
  • Meerkat pups Cato and Cashmere born in October 2015 {Deserts}
  • Kudu calf Shani born in September 2015 {Plains}
  • Caribbean Flamingo chick born in June 2015 {Flights Of Fancy}


MORE INFO: The Indianapolis Zoo is located at 1200 W. Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. Hours are 9am-4pm Mon-Thurs and 9am-5pm Fri-Sun. The Indianapolis Zoo Babies are presented by Hendricks Regional Health. Call {317} 630-2001 or visit the Zoo website for more details.






Related Articles



From our Sponsors