Puppies and kittens weren't the only adorable animals filling our feeds this year.

While it sure does feel like every piece of nature-related news from 2021 was full of doom and gloom, newborn zoo animals are always something to celebrate! Besides giving us adorable photos to coo at, the birth of many baby zoo animals this year helped toward the conservation effort of endangered species—something we can all get behind.

baby elephant, one of the cutest baby zoo animals of 2021
Credit: worradirek / Getty

While we can't possibly show you every adorable baby zoo animal born this year, we've rounded up some of our favorites who made us stop and say 'Awww.'

9 of the Cutest Baby Zoo Animals Born in 2021

KJ the Baby Black Rhino 

KJ, short for Klyde Junior, entered the world this year as a complete surprise! Bibi the black rhino gave birth to her baby boy on March 1 at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan. after a completely secret 16-month gestational period. The baby boy was named after his late father, Klyde, who passed while Bibi was unknowingly pregnant in September 2020.

Frankie the Asian Elephant Calf 

This year, Phoebe, a 33-year old Asian elephant at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium gave birth to her fifth calf on June 16. And while the baby boy looks adorable, it's his baby babbles that melted hearts this year. When the little tyke only 6 weeks old, a heartwarming video showed a bellowing voice come out of his tiny body as he trotted past his mom. So cute!

Tatis the Tamandua Anteater

While anteaters probably aren't the first to come to mind when you think of cute zoo animals, the photos this little pup riding on her mom's back are sure to melt hearts. First time mom Cora gave birth to the female anteater pup on July 21 at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and a few months later, the baby was named Tatis after Padres shortstop and outfielder, Fernando Tatis Jr.!

Golden Lion Tamarin Twins Ipa and Nema 

Double the love! These twin sisters with gorgeous golden locks were born at Zoo Atlanta to parents Blixx and Tiete on Feb. 11. These cuties were an especially exciting addition to the zoo, as the endangered species' wild population has experienced sharp declines in recent years.

Red Panda Cubs Ruby and Garnet 

Adult red pandas are already one of the cutest zoo animals, but these wee ones are almost too adorable for words. The pair's 7-year old mama Maliha gave birth at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Mich. on July 4. Since then, the sisters have been melting hearts as the zoo kept baby animal lovers updated on social media with sweet photos and exciting updates about their development.

Phoebe the Spotted Piglet 

On July 31, Boston's Franklin Park Zoo welcomed an adorable baby red river hog—the first for the species at the zoo! When Phoebe made her exhibit debut a few weeks later, zoo visitors were able to see the striking watermelon pattern on her baby coat.

Quadruplet Baby River Otters

Awww! These otterly-adorable quadruplets were born Feb. 1 at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. The otter pups lived their first month with their eyes closed—which is normal for the species (and so dang cute!).

Bryan the Crowned Lemur 

On April 12, Zoo Atlanta welcomed a cuddly baby lemur named Bryan. His big eyes melted hearts of animal lovers everywhere, and the baby boy's birth was celebrated by conservation advocates, as crowned lemurs are listed as an endangered species.

Zoo Miami's Back-to-Back Giraffe Babies

Zoo Miami welcomed not one, but two baby giraffes in a single week this year! On April 2, 14-year old giraffe Mia gave birth to an 181 pound baby boy. Then, while the newborn was making his first public debut a few days later on April 5, an 118 pound female calf was born to 6-year old Zuri!