There’s a very fluffy, adorably squeaky new kid on the rocks at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Around 3:15 p.m. on Wed., May 4, first-time Rocky Mountain goat mom, Lena, delivered a baby who was on her feet and working out her wobbly legs within 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.”
After a short intervention from animal care staff, the baby and mom are bonding well, and guests can see them – as long as they choose to stay visible – in the Rocky Mountain goat habitat.
The animal care team stayed with Lena and her baby through the evening on Wednesday, because they hadn’t seen nursing. The first feeding is really 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 its first meal.
While feeding the baby a colostrum substitute, the team confirmed that it’s a girl and that she weighs about 8 pounds. 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 since last night, so the team hopes mom and daughter will continue to take it from here.
“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.”
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. Fans can follow Lena’s baby as it grows up on the Zoo’s social media channels.