Moody Gardens is showing off four new friends in its Rainforest Pyramid.
Basi, a Blue Duiker, gave birth to a girl calf named Soksi on July 22. Soksi is Swahili for socks because her front feet are white, giving the appearance that she’s wearing socks.
Blue Duikers are one of the smallest antelope. They are native to Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. They are at least a foot high and weigh up to 20 pounds with short, spiky horns on their heads.
“This is also our first breeding here at Moody Gardens and we are happy to welcome the new baby,” said Paula Kolvig, Moody Gardens assistant curator of the Rainforest Pyramid.
Photos: New kids on the block at Moody Gardens
On July 31, a porcupette was born to mom Cora and dad Bono, a pair of prehensile-tailed porcupines. The baby was born with soft hair that will harden into quills with age. When the quills come in, biologists will send one off to a lab to learn the gender of the porcupette.
Prehensile-tailed porcupines are native to Central and South America. These forage on leaves, fruits, shoots and flowers and can weigh up to 11 pounds.
“These nocturnal porcupines spend the majority of their time in the trees,” Kolvig said. “As the common name suggests, their tails are prehensile and are used for grasping, stability, climbing and hanging.”
This month, Moody Gardens welcomed two giant river otters to the rainforest. Maximo and Manuel, 2 year-old brothers, joined Dru and Ella in the exhibit.
Giant river otters are very social animals. They are endangered and native to Brazil. As the world’s largest otters, they grow to approximately 6 feet long. The otters have webbed feet and water-repellent fur, which along with their powerful tails and long bodies, help propel themselves while swimming. They can also close their nostrils and ears while in the water.