Storks have been making regular visits to Wellington Zoo lately - and not as residents.

There's been an influx of baby animals delivered at the zoo this summer, including two meerkat pups, a baby red panda, and six nyala calves.

A nyala lamb goes through a quick health check with Wellington Zoo staff. Photo/Wellington Zoo
A nyala lamb goes through a quick health check with Wellington Zoo staff. Photo/Wellington Zoo

Some visitors to the zoo were even lucky enough to see one of the nyala calves - a type of antelope - taking its first steps about 40 minutes after it had been born.

"We had a calf born late one morning and there were some visitors down by the fence looking at the newborn calf," herbivore team leader Bobby Stoop said.

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A nyala calf wanders around its enclosure at Wellington Zoo with the rest of its herd. Photo/Melissa Nightingale
A nyala calf wanders around its enclosure at Wellington Zoo with the rest of its herd. Photo/Melissa Nightingale

The group were asking how old the calf was, thinking it might have been born a few days ago. Little did they know the animal had come into the world less than an hour earlier.

"They were chuffed," Stoop said.

The visitors were able to watch as the baby was cleaned by its mother before attempting to take its first shaky steps.

The zoo's nyala herd has grown quickly in the last 22 days - with all five of the calves being born to first-time mothers in a short period of time. The most recent was born last Wednesday.

The adult meerkats take turns looking after the pups, which only opened their eyes about a week ago. Photo/Wellington Zoo
The adult meerkats take turns looking after the pups, which only opened their eyes about a week ago. Photo/Wellington Zoo

For the first couple of weeks of their lives, the nyala would spend the majority of their time sleeping as their attentive mothers watched over them, making sure to plant them in a sheltered, safe spot.

Over the next few weeks the calves will begin to follow their mothers around and "just become more and more boisterous".

They all have different personalities - one had already started chasing the guinea fowl in its enclosure.

A meerkat pup goes for a wander in its habitat. Photo/Wellington Zoo
A meerkat pup goes for a wander in its habitat. Photo/Wellington Zoo

"They learn everything from the adults, you can just see them watching all their movements," Stoop said.

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Nyala females were "extremely maternal" and would pay close attention to their babies as they grew.

Meanwhile in the meerkat enclosure, the old saying "it takes a village to raise a child" is alive and well.

The red panda cub was briefly caught on camera but is being left alone by keepers for a few months while it bonds with its mother. Photo/Wellington Zoo
The red panda cub was briefly caught on camera but is being left alone by keepers for a few months while it bonds with its mother. Photo/Wellington Zoo

The two meerkat pups are taken care of by all the adults, with some taking turns to look after the babies while the others go about their business.

The pups are 4 weeks old and only opened their eyes a week or so ago. Now they've opened their eyes they are beginning to venture outside of their shelter.

The pups are particularly inquisitive and have started exploring their habitat. Visitors popping into the zoo from today may be able to catch a glimpse of the babies.

As for the red panda cub, visitors may be waiting a while to see it as it's likely to stay hidden away for about the first 70 days.

Endangered Red Panda cub born at the Zoo!

#BabyCam! 👶 We have some VERY exciting news! An endangered Red Panda cub was born at the Zoo over the weekend to first-time parents Khusi and Sundar. 🔥🦊 While it's still early days, both mum and cub are doing really well so far and we will be keeping our distance from Khusi and the cub to allow them to bond. Once we know the gender of the cub in a few month's time, we’ll be asking our conservation partners at the Red Panda Network to help us choose an appropriate Nepalese name for this precious animal. Visitors won't see the cub for the first few months, however we will keep you updated with photos and videos and let you know when the cub is venturing out of its nest. Read more: http://bit.ly/2DhBYcz 🎥: Keeper Dani

Posted by Wellington Zoo on Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The keepers won't know the cub's sex for a few months as their are initially leaving it alone with its mother to bond.