• WorldView
  • 4 Min Read
  • 13 Jul 2021

Cute Baby Animals From Sloths to Sea Lions

A baby sloth hanging upside down from a branch

If you’re looking for a big dose of joy, head into the wild this winter to encounter some of the world’s cutest baby animals. Whether it’s baby penguins hatching in Antarctica or gray whales being born in Baja, it’s a wonderful time of year for new life and new beginnings. And seeing adorable animals on a Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is extra special: our veteran naturalists can shed light on fascinating behaviors while helping you spot elusive creatures; onboard certified photo instructors can ensure you capture incredible photos; and our skilled Captains and crew can take you deep into remote, seldom-seen places where animals thrive. Scroll on and get ready to say ‘Awww!’

Smile! It's a Baby Sloth

There are more than 58,200 posts on Instagram for #babysloth. And it's not hard to see why. That happy turned-up smile, those sleepy little faces, the tiny curled toes. Baby sloths are natural antidepressants. But becoming a sloth is serious business. When it’s time to give birth, moms usually descend to the lower canopy branches and go into labor while hanging upside down! If the baby sloth falls, it won't fall too far and mom can climb down to retrieve her new arrival.

Photo: Krista Rossow

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A baby sloth hanging over a fence

Baby Penguins on Parade

The only thing better than seeing penguins in Antarctica is seeing baby penguins! Gentoo, chinstrap, Adélie or emperor—it doesn't matter the species, penguin babies are the cutest little balls of fluff. If you're hoping to spot them in the ice, head south in December or January which is prime time for chicks. Whether they are waddling around, grabbing a meal from mom or dad, or peeping loudly for attention, it's all adorable overload.


Photo: Andrew Peacock


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Baby penguin reaches out for food from its mother

Must-See Baby Sea Lions

If you're headed to the Galápagos Islands, get ready to fill your photo card to the max with pictures of baby sea lions. One look into those dark and watery eyes and you'll be powerless. These sweet little pinnepeds can be spotted ashore throughout the year and throughout the whole archipelago. While pupping season peaks in October, lucky guests may come across one being born at other times of year too—and if that happens our naturalists are always happy to stop and linger so you don't miss the miracle.

Photo: Kyle Furey


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A baby sea lion rersts on shore in Galápagos

The Cutest Monkeys in the Canopy

Adult howler monkeys can look pretty scary, especially when they're baring their teeth and howling their hauntingly loud howls. But howler monkey babies are 100% adorable with a capital Aww. Females usually have one baby each year and like most primates, the newborn spends its first several weeks of life clinging to mom as she climbs through the canopy and munches on leaves. Howler monkeys rarely come down from the trees so look up if you're hoping to spot one. 

Photo: Copyright (c) 2019 Alejandro Garza-Garcia/Shutterstock


Spot Baby Howler Monkeys in Guatemala >
A baby howler monkey snacks on a leaf

Playful Baby Gray Whales

Like enormous puppy dogs, baby gray whales are curious, playful creatures. In the birthing lagoons in Baja, you'll often find them surfacing close to our Zodiacs to interact with us as their watchful moms stay right nearby. Nothing can prepare you for the heart-touching, unforgettable experience of locking eyes with these gentle, inquisitive giants. You'll be convinced they're looking right back at you.

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A baby gray whale stays close to its mom in Baja California