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Photos: the cutest Dublin Zoo arrivals of 2012

New additions include the births of tapirs, red pandas, eastern bongos and meerkats – and the transfer of two lion cubs and a bull elephant. Phew, what a year!

DUBLIN ZOO HAS enjoyed the pitter-patter of tiny (and not so tiny) feet throughout 2012 with the arrival of creatures great and small.

Early additions to the Zoo’s enclosures included the birth of a 10-strong litter of (very energetic) Tamworth piglets, while later in the year the Zoo welcomed two female Asian lion cubs, two meerkats and a 17-year-old bull elephant.

Here, in pictures, are the highlights of Dublin Zoo’s arrivals of 2012:

Photos: the cutest Dublin Zoo arrivals of 2012
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  • 1. Bongo

    A 20-kg female Eastern Bongo calf was born at the Zoo in early January. The speciies is native to the African plains and highly endangered - less than 150 are believed to still exist in the wild. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 2. Bongo

    Newborn bongos are a shy bunch and usually hide in foliage for their first weeks. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 3. Bongo

    Those ears! Too cute... (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 4. Calf

    This little chap was born to the Zoo's freisian cow, Bella, in the New Year of 2012. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 5. Elephant

    Upali the bull elephant arrived in Dublin in July from England - and immediately claimed the title of Dublin Zoo's largest animal. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 6. Elephant

    The 17-year-old stands 3 metres high and weighs over 6,000 kgs - which makes us all feel a bit better about that Christmas dinner... (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 7. Red Pandas

    These twin red panda cubs were born in June to parents Angelina and Chota. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 8. Red Pandas

    For the first few months, though, the pair only ventured out at night. The names chosen for the cubs from Facebook submissions were Tara and Nima. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 9. Tamworth Piglets

    TEN Tamworth piglets - five gals and five chaps - were delivered by mamma pig Rosie in early 2012. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 10. Tamworth Piglets

    Apparently they can actually stand still - now and again. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 11. Giraffe

    Female giraffe Tamu was born in June. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 12. Giraffe

    And she was six feet tall before she turned two months old. Wow... (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 13. Sea Lion

    Californian sea lion pups are born on land and have to be taught how to swim - but it doesn't take long. This little chap was born in May and hit the water within days of his arrival. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 14. Sea Lion

    Poster!
  • 15. Lions

    As part of an international breeding programme, these two 19-month-old female Asian lion cubs came to Dublin from a French zoo in May. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 16. Lions

    Their species is considered 'critically endangered' in the wild, where only about 400 are left. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 17. Meerkat

    Two meerkat pups were born to a family of four in July. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 18. Meerkat

    The adult male and three females kept close watch over the two pups in their underground burrows after their birth and it was several weeks before they made their first public appearance. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 19. Tapir

    Born in early June, this Brazilian tapir is the first calf born to mum Rio and dad Marmaduke, which may just be the best-named tapirs in any zoo, ever. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)
  • 20. Tapir

    Shortly after his birth, staff at Dublin Zoo were describing the little cutie as "really inquisitive". Things to do, peeps. (Image: Dublin Zoo/Patrick Bolger Photography 2012)

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