October 4 is World Animal Day, and it's conveniently fallen on the same day as our weekly collection of amazing animal pictures. You'll notice a recurring theme in this week's gallery: babies! It seems cute new animals are popping up, or out, everywhere lately. Here we see a baby Asian elephant that's just a few hours old. They make 'em big, don't they? This young one stands under its mother at the Ramat Gan Safari, also known as the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan, Israel, on Oct. 3, 2013. Zoo officials say the as-yet-unnamed baby elephant is most likely female.
Here's another newborn making its way in the world, with a little help. It's a four-day-old Chilean flamingo chick on its nest, being hovered over by its father, whose name is Migi Aka. The baby flamingo was born on September 29 at the Himeji Central Park in Himeji, Japan, and will take up to two or three years to fully develop.
As we said, babies galore. This two-week-young tapir baby, dubbed Stephen, stands in his enclosure at the zoo in Szeged, Hungary on Oct. 1, 2013. The tapir baby was born on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 (we're hoping tapirs aren't the superstitious types). Fully grown, tapirs end up being about seven feet long (two meters) and in the neighborhood of 500-800 pounds (227-363 kilograms).
Let's pause for a moment from baby mania to take note of some 60 new species that were discovered recently by a conservation team in a rainforest-dominated mountainous region of southeastern Suriname. The cocoa frog is among them, one of six new frog species logged by the team.
A larger fruit-eating bat (Artibeus planirostris, for classification fans) was also among the new species discovered in Suriname. It eats fruit exclusively and can't be blamed for its unfortunate resemblance to Nosferatu.
These burrowing owls are neither newborn nor new species. They're just plain cute, and obviously unaffected by the government shutdown, as they stand guard over their home by the U.S.-Mexico border fence near San Ysidro, Calif. (Human border guards are also working through the shutdown.)
And now back to babies. Here a three-week-old anteater baby lies on its mother in their enclosure at the zoo in Szeged, Hungary. Like the tapir, the anteater was born on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Kim Passero thinks her Yorkshire terrier puppy, born in a recent litter, might be a Guinness contender for world's smallest puppy. At 163 grams, the other puppies in the litter are around 400 grams, its mouth is too small to feed.
We close as we began: with the youth movement. These siblings are Ying and Yang, two baby red pandas born on June 22, 2013. Here they're sitting in their enclosure at the Cerza Zoo in Hermival-les-Vaux, France on Sept. 30, 2013.