The nucleus in a typical human cell is made of 23 pairs of chromosomes. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, “Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.”
Although many animals have a different number of chromosomes in their nuclei, an extra full or partial chromosome can have an effect that is similar to its effect in humans. Animals can have a range of degrees of Down syndrome – just like humans. Here are 45 animals with Down syndrome who will melt your heart.
This little kitten is just so sweet! Her beautiful blue eyes are enough to make her owner cave in to any request. What a ray of sunshine!
The king of the jungle looks just as intimidating with Down syndrome. Look at those fierce eyes! I sure wouldn’t want to mess with him.
This fluffy fellow is just so adorable! His eyes are so big and bright. I just want to hug him!
He may have Down syndrome, but this little orangutan is just as curious as his brothers and sisters. He is just so precious. Making eye contact with this cutie would definitely be enough to make your heart melt.
This giraffe is just so cute! His face might be a little different than the others’, but that just makes him more unique! I wonder how this epic shot was taken…
Horses are such noble, majestic creatures. This girl absolutely adores her horse, and the love between them is so apparent in this photo! I’m so happy this special horse has a loving home.
This tiger looks terrifying with his sharp teeth and focused eyes. Meet Kenny, the white tiger with Down syndrome. His fearsome face has taken the internet by storm.
Sloths are known for being lazy, cuddly, and super adorable. This sloth looks super confident as he stares into the camera. How cute!
This sheep’s eyes are just so sweet! She leans into her owner, showing that she has total trust. That sheepish smile is so heart warming!
This grizzly bear with Down syndrome is certainly a rare sight. He looks so serious. Whatever he is glaring at, it needs to run FAST!
This tiny elephant is still just a baby, and he is adorable! He looks like he is just learning to keep his balance. You go, little elephant!
This donkey with Down syndrome looks completely adorable. He just seems so excited about life! We all need to be a little more like this.
The wrinkles in this gorilla’s face make him look just like an old man! Okay, so maybe he isn’t so grumpy. He actually looks like he is smiling and full of joy.
Even our canine companions can have the genetic variation. This dog has big, sad eyes – but they are full of love. No matter what is unique about a dog, he will always be man’s best friend.
This cat is everything you could ever want in a pet. Look at the adorable way her eyes drift apart! You can just tell she is a soft, loving kitty.
Yep, this girl looks ANGRY. You would be too if you had to kill your food before eating it. She takes “hangry” to a whole new level.
This baby koala with Down syndrome is the sweetest thing ever. His tiny paws barely fit over the leaf he is eating! This might the most adorable dinner to have ever been photographed.
Many of us have never even seen a llama, let alone a llama with Down syndrome. Well, here you go! As you can see, they are magnificent.
I just love how interested this cow is in the camera. He is so curious! Such a stunning creature.
This precious white cat has Down syndrome, and her owners love her so much. She looks so peaceful laying down. She doesn’t have a care in the world!
Kenny actually comes from a family of tigers who were bred together to create a white tiger. Inbreeding can increase the chance of an animal having genetic variations like Down syndrome.
This deer has Down syndrome, and he is a beloved part of the family. It’s crazy to think about all the animals that can be affected by Down syndrome.
This cat’s puffy cheeks are so adorable! I just love the way his tongue hangs out of his mouth. What a bundle of joy!
If you are ever having a rough day, this hamster with Down syndrome will make it all better. He is an adorable little fluff ball! Everyone should have a hamster.
This sweet puppy’s eyes are so big and reflective. You can see the photographer and the surrounding trees in them. What a sweetheart!
This beautifully-colored cat lives a full and happy life, and that includes plenty of time to relax. She loves laying out in the sun. It’s the simple things in life that matter the most.
This chimp is one of the greatest things in the world. Check out that hair! And that silly look on his face!
Cats are known for being more serious than their canine counterparts. When you look into this cat’s eyes, you know he means business. You sure don’t want to stand in his way.
This dolphin is just too adorable. He might not glide through the water as gracefully as the others, but he looks super cute swimming along.
This sweet little guy is almost too cute for words! His tongue is hands down the best part of this picture.
This little guy is the CUTEST THING IN THE WORLD! Check out his hair! He looks like he was just electrocuted, but it’s a look that definitely works for him.
This chimp is the second ever recorded to have an extra copy of Trisomy 22. Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are hoping to find more answers concerning the cause and cure of this genetic deviation, with the help of Kanako, their kind-hearted chimpanzee friend.
This cat with Down syndrome has the most stunning eyes you could ever imagine. Green eyes are so rare, and this cat was gifted with bold green in his eyes. You could stare into them forever…
This little monkey will always have his mother to look up to, and that means more than anything. The bond between these two is so inspiring.
This fur ball is just melting into the deck around him. He is like a giant cotton ball – but even cuter! Awwww!
This tiny kitten learning how to stand is such a wonderful sight to behold! Her owner must feel so lucky to be able to watch her slowly become a mobile kitty. What a cute little lesson!
This tiny hamster with Down syndrome is so cute. He looks so confused in his little cage! Don’t you just want to pick him up and pet him?!
This cat’s big green eyes are so charming. The tongue hanging out of her mouth makes her look so sweet and playful! Anyone would be lucky to have this cat as a pet.