Baby Animals are the Shiz

Another photo post for y’all.  It’s been hectic in my world and my brain is mostly mush.

Some goslings out for a walk in York.  They look like hooligans.

Some goslings out for a walk in York. They look like hooligans.

I love how the foremost gosling has his/her tongue hanging out.  If they wore trousers, it would be ill fitting tracky-dacks (tracksuit pants / sweat pants) and I do not doubt they would have their hands down the front.  Why do young men do that?

A pair of lambs nestling in a hole, somewhere in the Lake District (vagueness is not me being coy; I honestly dont really know.)

A pair of lambs nestling in a hole, somewhere in the Lake District near Wndermere (vagueness is not me being coy; I honestly don't really know.)

A friend, with whom I was hanging out and squealing about lambs in the Lake District, commented that she thinks women who have reached child-bearing age become more susceptible to the cuteness of baby animals.  I don’t quite agree with her.  For myself, I am still ambivalent about whether I will have children (and I guess I might need to make that decision soon-ish).  I have moved poles away from the position I took when I was eight, and held onto through my 20s, that I would never have children.  However, I am much happier and more comfortable now to wallow in all things cute, when I was very reluctant to do so as a teenager.  I got branded ‘cute’ a lot and it’s only the last few years that I’m prepared not to get offended if you call me cute.  On occassion, I’ve even been known to be flattered by it.   The change has to do with getting comfortable in my skin and my person, rather than impulses dictacted by biology.  Although, I guess if it was biology being the boss, I would not necessarily know it.

A not really very good photo of baby pygmy hippo and mama, Marwell Zoo.

A not very good photo of baby pygmy hippo and mama, Marwell Zoo. He was so cute, he made me cry. No, really.

Hippos are dangerous animals. A workmate keeps telling me this as if it will somehow lead me to adore them less.   Hippos crack me up.  I love that they are vegetarians and yet kill more people in Africa than lions.  Okay, well, I don’t love that they have killed people but just the incongruity of the fact of their preferred diet contrasted with the threat they pose to visitors in their terrtory.  They own the river.

Pygmy hippos, however, are endangered.  They only survive now, in zoos.  They wiggle their ears.  It is the most adorably absurd thing on a creature so ungainly.

The baby pygmy hippo would disappear under the water and then emerge ever so slowly, eyes first, then ears which he would vigorously wiggle (presumably to shake the water out of them?).  Sometimes he would duck back under the water when he saw all the people ogling him and sometimes he would emerge fully.  My partner reports that I shoved some kids out of the way to get closer to the edge of the viewing platform.  This is possible.



  1. I’m a sucker for hippos, too. Lambs not so much (your friend’s theory just took a beating!) I’ve always wanted to see a hippo in full charge – to see the fat wobble! – but alas, all our hippo safari moments have been rather sedentary.


  2. Love the photos. Hate pushy kids (actually, their parents) who think their under 4 ft. status entitles them to prime viewing, all of the time. This is especially problematic at aquariums. Maybe I want to see the jellyfish up close, too!


  3. Yes I hate pushy parents who think their under 4 ft status entitles them to prime viewing too – unless of course it’s my child 😉 Hey was that me at the aquarium? 😉

    Love the pictures.
    Reminded me of some of the pics on

    I wonder if there’s more trauma in slaughtering a lamb than a sheep.


  4. little warthog

    But the way lambs move! Oh, it’s hilarious.

    I’m rather glad your hippo safari moments have been sedate. Read an excellent book about Africa recently – In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway. Highly recommend if you have not read it and will send to you once Partner reads it. Made me realise, though I’d never really wanted to go on safari anyway (much as I really do love animals, zoos make me sad and conflicted – even really nice spacious ones) that I really don’t want to go on safari.

    unbalanced reaction

    It’s parents who bother me more than kids. Kids are usually pretty cool with your enthusiasm (and I have a tendency to engage strangers, especially kids) but (some) parents view all adults without kids as threats.

    I’ve often biked past a kid on a bike who then slows down or swerves in nervousness and to defuse the situation, I will usually say, “Race you!” and have a brief race, which the kid wins. We both end up grinning but I get pretty dirty looks from parents … some like me engaging; many do not. I try not to let it get to me.


    Would you give me a dirty look if I briefly befriended your little one in a public place? 😛

    I spent ages on Cute Overload because of you. All those precious billable units, down the hatch…

    I think, if you have to kill an animal, you either get resistant or are always upset. I have not killed but have watched, listened and gutted, and am always upset, though I still eat meat. Including lambs. Sometimes, shortly after having exclaimed at their cuteness. I would rather be upset and know that I am eating what was once alive and cute, then pretend that what I eat is divorced from what it was – because if I can’t deal with that, I should not be eating meat. But that’s my high horse …


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