Baby Animals
The Daily Treat: Pope Francis Grins Big While a Lamb Rests on His Shoulders

Credit: Osservatore Romano/AP

PHOTO: Pope Francis Grins Big While a Lamb Rests on His Shoulders

Update 01/08/2014 05:00 PM Originally posted 01/08/2014 03:30 PM

Is it time to start calling him His Happiness?

During his visit to St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church just outside Rome on Monday, Pope Francis found himself up close and personal with an "actor" from the church's living nativity scene – a lamb! The young animal was carefully placed around the Pope's shoulders, eliciting a massive grin from the religious leader. The lamb is an important part of Biblical imagery, with Jesus sometimes referred to as the "Lamb of God."

Pope Francis was in attendance to celebrate Epiphany, but he also managed to kick off 2014 in a rather big way. Considering the past year he had, during which he was named Time's Person of the Year, we're sure it will be difficult for him to beat his 2013 achievements – but a cute photo with a lamb is a nice way to start.

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Twin Polar Bear Cubs Can't Stop Snuggling

Credit: Courtesy Hellabrun Zoo

These Twin Polar Bear Cubs Can't Stop Snuggling

Update 01/04/2014 12:00 PM Originally posted 01/03/2014 03:10 PM

Hey, sleepy heads!

Looks like nothing can wake these adorable twin polar bear cubs from their slumber – even when one tries to nestle closer to the other. And, really, who can blame them? Their mama's fur looks pretty darn cozy!

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The Daily Treat: This Orangutan Is Seriously Stressed About Its New Year's Outfit

Credit: Zuma

With New Year's Eve just a day away, you've probably got your evening ensemble and countdown cupcake ready to go.

Unless you're this orangutan.

And judging by the look on his face, you can tell being unprepared is starting to weigh on him. In addition to what to wear and what to serve, there's also decorating to be done. Plus, and we don't want to rub salt into the wound, but someone's going to need to find time to head to the salon.

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The Daily Treat: Newborn Elephant Will Turn Your Bad Day Right Around

VIDEO: Newborn Elephant Will Turn Your Bad Day Right Around

Update 12/11/2013 11:20 AM Originally posted 12/10/2013 03:00 PM

He's a pachyderm with a purpose: to cheer people up!

This happy and healthy male elephant was born when the staff of the Melbourne Zoo really needed a pick-me-up, arriving just days after an 11-month-old elephant died at the zoo in a freak accident.

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90 Seconds of Baby Leopards Playing with Christmas Balls

Update 12/06/2013 06:00 PM Originally posted 12/05/2013 12:35 PM

So, a lion, a tiger and two leopards walk into a New York City office building ...

Okay, it didn't quite go down like that – there were cat carriers, baby bottles full of milk and several animal wranglers involved when four spirited big cats came to the PEOPLE studios last week in honor of Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD (running through Dec. 6).

After cat wrangler Boone Smith gave us the lowdown on these amazing felines, including a rare white tiger and African lion cub, we thought: Wouldn't it be fun if we got the 3-month-old African leopards to play with Christmas ornaments? Well, it turns out Ogre and Betty had other ideas. Click play above to watch what happens when you try and choreograph wild animals in a big fancy studio space.

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Meow! Big Kittens Take Over the PEOPLE Studio

Originally posted 12/03/2013 03:00 PM

Lions roam the lush landscape of the Serengeti, while their domestic counterparts roam the dusty crawl space under your bed. But we've got video evidence that proves that these felines have more in common than you think, even if only one of them will reach a weight of 400 lbs. in their lifetime.

Our friends at Nat Geo WILD brought three different types of big kittens – a baby tiger, a lion and two leopards cubs – to our New York City offices to promote their fourth annual Big Cat Week (running through Dec. 6). We are pleased to bestow the following morsels of knowledge upon those who are just as fascinated by felines as we are:

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The Daily Treat: Three White Tiger Cubs Are Better Than One

Three White Tiger Cubs Are Better Than One

Originally posted 11/25/2013 07:15 AM

Talk about sibling revelry!

Three newborn tiger cubs born earlier this month at Georgia's Tbilisi Zoo look to be getting along swimmingly.

The trio, born Nov. 7, can be seen in this aww-dorable footage huddled together in a corner of their enclosure – while Mom watches over them from nearby.

Names for the cubs have not yet been released, but if we had to guess, we'd definitely go with Cute, Cuter and Cutest.

Also: When can we expect a playdate with the white tiger cubs from Japan's Tobu Zoo Park?

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VIDEO: Three Glorious Minutes of Puppies Learning How to Howl

Update 11/20/2013 05:00 PM Originally posted 11/20/2013 03:35 PM

If you learn just one thing today, it should be this: howling is an art.

As demonstrated in this new compilation we found on YouTube, it requires practice, patience and persistence. It is, indeed, a learned skill (taught often by silly humans who think they're good at it).

There are high-pitched howls, more baritone ones, howls that sounds like a 2-month-old screaming, others that sounds like an impression of Daffy Duck and – the most rare form – howls that sounds like a sweet singing bird.

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VIDEO: Tiger Cub Really, Really Wants to Play with Boy Dressed as a Tiger

Update 11/08/2013 01:20 PM Originally posted 11/07/2013 01:00 PM

Well that's awkward. Who's going to break the bad news to Kali?

The newest Sumatran tiger cub to be born at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium thought she'd made a new friend when 2-year-old Marshall stopped by to visit earlier this year. But, little did she know, things are not always what they seem.

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Zoo Atlanta's Twin Pandas Celebrate Their New Names – by Sleeping!

They're Cub A and Cub B no more!

Meet Mei Lun and Mei Huan, twin male giant pandas born at Zoo Atlanta in July, who, as part of Chinese tradition, finally received their official names on Wednesday, their 100th day of life. The names – pronounced May Loon and May Hwaan – were chosen after an online vote, and couldn't be more fitting. They translate to: "indescribably beautiful and magnificent."

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