COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — There’s a very fluffy new kid on the rocks at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
First-time Rocky Mountain goat mom Lena successfully delivered a calf at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Colorado Springs zoo.
The baby goat was on her feet and working out her wobbly legs within minutes, according to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
After a short intervention from animal care staff, the baby and mom are bonding well, zookeepers said. Mom and the 8-pound baby can be viewed by guests now at the Rocky Mountain goat habitat.
“Rocky Mountain goat kids are famous for being capable right out of the gate,” said Michelle Salido, lead keeper at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. “They’re native to some pretty demanding habitats, so they have to be hearty to thrive in those elements, and that’s what we’re seeing with this little one. She’s getting the hang of her lanky legs, and we’ve already seen her climbing up rocks and on her mom.”
Following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s tradition of not naming baby animals until they’re at least a month old, there are no immediate plans to name the youngster, but zookeepers have confirmed it is a girl.
Rocky Mountain goat baby
An animal care team stayed with Lena and her baby through the evening Wednesday because they hadn’t seen nursing. According to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the first feeding is important for a newborn animal because brand-new mother’s milk contains colostrum, which has important nutrients and antibodies.
After about three hours of the kid attempting to nurse unsuccessfully, the team stepped in and hand-fed the first meal.
“It took Lena a little while to get the hang of nursing, which isn’t unusual for a first-time mom, but since then, we’ve seen her really embrace motherhood,” Salido said.
After feeding the little one, the team reunited her with her mom, and the two have been bonding well since. The baby has been seen nursing consistently, so zookeepers hope mom and daughter will continue to take it from here.
“She’s being protective, and she’s letting her daughter snuggle up to her and climb on her," Salido said. "She was really focused on making sure the baby was clean – especially her ears. She was licking the kid’s ears, and the baby was making little goat whinnying sounds and wobbling around during the grooming session. They’re so cute.”
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