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Chicago’s cutest baby animals of 2014

It’s been a busy news year in Chicago, what with barges, the Bears, and bursting salt warehouses.

But some of our favorite breaking news stories at the Sun-Times come in small packages. Here is our list of the cutest baby animals born in Chicago in 2014.

It’s a hard job, but someone had to do it.

1. The Shedd’s otter pup, Luna

<em>©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez</em>
©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

The orphaned otter pup arrived at the Shedd Aquarium on Oct. 28 after being found alone and afraid on a California Beach. Since then, Shedd staff has taught the female pup how to feed herself and dive and has given her plenty of her favorite snack, ice cubes. After more than 10,000 votes were tallied in a contest with “Good Morning America,” the pup was named Luna. Now 12 pounds, you can see Luna in person beginning in the spring at the Shedd’s Regenstein Sea Otter habitat.

2. The Brookfield Zoo’s white-cheeked gibbon

<em>Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society</em>
Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society

Coming in a close second, the Brookfield Zoo welcomed a white-cheeked gibbon over the summer. The male was born June 9 to longtime couple Indah and Benny, who have been together at the west suburban zoo since 1995. The baby gibbon has two brothers, Thani, 5 1/2, and Cuong, 3. You can visit the happy family at the zoo’s Tropic World exhibit.

3. New Year’s Day seal pup

<em>Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society</em>
Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society

The Brookfield Zoo kicked off 2014 in the best way possible — with the birth of a gray seal on New Year’s Day. The male pup was born about 7 a.m. on the first of the year to 10-year-old Lily and weighed in at about 25 pounds. He was the first of his kind born at the Brookfield Zoo.

4. The Lincoln Park Zoo’s crowned lemur

<em>Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo</em>
Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo

The crowned lemur baby nearly edged out Prince George in popularity after the primate was born April 14. The zoo could not immediately determine the baby’s sex and measurements because the mother kept the newborn wrapped close to her belly (aw!). It was the first of its kind born at Lincoln Park Zoo.

5. Two bison calves born at Brookfield

<em>Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society</em>
Photo from the Chicago Zoological Society

Two baby bison — a boy AND a girl — were born in the spring at the Brookfield Zoo. The male calf was born to 5-year-old Leotie on May 31, the female was born to 5-year-old Lucy on June 6. The same bison, 14-year-old Ron, sired both the calves.