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Baby Animal Pictures

As with the young of domestic animals, baby wild animals have a special appeal and it's magical to see them in their own habitat.

This gallery displays images of baby animals taken mainly in the wild, in the national parks and game reserves of Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa.

A baby baboon riding on its mother's back, elephant cows fiercely sheltering their young - these are constant reminders of how strong maternal bonds are in Nature.

But because animals are so protective of their young, it's often a challenge getting good photos of their offspring.

baby vervet monkey
Baby Vervet Monkey

Click on picture to enlarge.
Baby Elephant framed by mother baby elephants jostling Baby Elephant with trunk extended
Baby Chacma Baboon Baby Rhino in long grass baby hippo with its mother
Baby Lion at rest lioness shepherding baby lion cubs lion cub with mother
Lion cub on alert Lion cub in watchful mode Baby monkey peering from tree
wildlife reference photos
Inquisitive Baby hyenas Baby Giraffe Baby Zebra foal with its mother
Trio of lion cubs Lion cubs at play Lion cub yawning
Baby Impala Baby Nyala antelope with mother Baby impala

Vulnerable to Attack
Whenever I take pictures of baby wild animals, I can't help feeling some apprehension, wondering what the future holds and whether they will survive to adulthood.

All young animals born in the wild, even elephant calves, are vulnerable to attack by predators.

Baby hippos can be taken by crocodiles, while young antelope are particularly vulnerable to a wide array of predators, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas.

Even Lion Cubs Face Danger
Although lion cubs are usually safe from attack by other cats or hyenas when they're part of a pride and close to other pride members, even they are not guaranteed a carefree transition to adulthood.

In most lion prides there are one or more dominant males who rule the roost for a few years, lording it over the lionesses and tolerating their own offspring.

Younger, Stronger Males
But inevitably they will be displaced by younger, stronger males looking for females to mate with.

These new dominant males instinctively want to propagate, so they will search out and kill any cubs in the pride to ensure the females come back quickly into breeding condition.

Although this sounds terrible, it's part of the life cycle in the wild, and just as some baby animals will not survive, many others will grow from cute miniatures of their parents into strong, self-sufficient adults.

Photo Tip Young animals move quickly, so have your camera ready and shoot first, then look for unusual angles, close-ups, or juxtaposing young and old, big and small.

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