A 2-year-old Mountain Goat, Bluebelle, gave birth Saturday, June 16, to a female kid at Woodland Park Zoo. The last birth of a Mountain Goat at the zoo was in 1995.
The zoo’s animal health staff performed a neonatal exam Sunday on the new Goat, which was named Daisy by the zoo staff. According to Dr. Tim Storms, associate veterinarian at Woodland Park Zoo, Daisy weighed 10 pounds and appears healthy, with good body condition and a strong suckling reflex. Lab tests indicate that she has been successfully nursing and received colostrum from Bluebelle.
“So far we’re seeing attentive maternal care by first-time mom Bluebelle. Nursing sessions are regular and mom and her newborn are bonding,” said Deanna DeBo, an animal care manager at Woodland Park Zoo.
The new kid is the first offspring for Bluebelle and dad Albert. Albert moved in April to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs to help increase genetic representation of the species in accredited zoos.
Bluebelle and Daisy’s zoo habitat replicates the rocky crags and ledges that these animals would encounter in their native range in the mountainous northwestern United States and Canada. The zoo’s award-winning Northern Trail exhibit features other animals that have adapted to the cold, rugged regions of the north including Grizzlies, Snowy Owls, Wolves, Elk and Steller’s Sea Eagles.
Rocky Mountain Goats naturally range from southern Alaska, Canada, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Transplanted populations now live in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota and Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Remarkably adapted for life on steep mountain ledges, Mountain Goats live, sleep, and eat at elevations of 10,000 feet and up. They are well-adapted to extremely harsh conditions such as snowy slopes with pitches above 60 degrees, winds up to 100 mph, snow drifts of 30–60 feet high and temperatures reaching minus 50 degrees F.
A Mountain Goat’s incredible adaptations allow it to live high above potential predators such as Mountain Lions, Bears or Wolverines. The only predator that lives above the timberline is the Golden Eagle which might attack a newborn or very young Goat.
Woodland Park Zoo supports the conservation of Mountain Goats and other Cascadia wildlife through the Living Northwest suite.