COLORADO SPRINGS — There’s a new fluffy kid on the block at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
On Wednesday, a first-time Rocky Mountain goat mom, Lena, delivered a girl calf who was on her feet in minutes.
“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.”
The animal care team stayed with Lena and her baby through the evening on Wednesday, because they hadn’t seen nursing. The zoo says that the first feeding is important for a newborn animal because a brand-new mother’s milk contains colostrum, which has important nutrients and antibodies. After about three hours of the team stepped in and hand-fed the baby goat's first meal.
However, the team says that the baby has been seen nursing consistently since Wednesday night, so they hope mother and daughter can take it from there.
“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,” said Salido. “She’s being protective, and she’s letting her daughter snuggle up to her and climb on her. 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.”
The baby and mom are bonding well, and guests can see them in the Rocky Mountain goat habitat.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a tradition of not naming baby animals until they’re at least one month old.
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