Visitors to Taronga's Backyard to Bush got a surprise last Friday when the zoo's MacArthur Merino Sheep, Berry, gave birth on exhibit! The healthy female lamb, who keepers’ have named Button, can now be seen alongside mum at Taronga’s farmyard.
Two lambs were born at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam during the first week of March. Within four hours, the lambs could stand upright and drink their first milk. After a few days, they will begin to eat grass and hay.
The petting zoo at Artis has Cameroon Sheep and Hampshire Down Sheep, as well as goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and Kunekune pigs.
Photo Credits: Artis Zoo
Watch the lambs venture out into the petting zoo with their mother:
March went in and out like a lamb this year – represented by this new Babydoll Lamb at the Central Park Zoo’s Tisch Children’s Zoo. Born on March 1 to mom Turnip and dad Sid, the arrival of the lamb, named Kiwi, is a sure sign that spring is upon us.
Besides being easy on the eyes, these teddy bear-faced sheep are intelligent, quite docile and tame easily. The gentle creatures measure less than 24" tall from the shoulder once fully grown, and as adults, weigh 70 to 150 pounds. They make good weeders and lawn mowers, as they graze all through the day on grasses.
As senior keeper Rob Gramzay has noticed, Kiwi is getting bigger and bigger by the day. She was only about 7 pounds (3.18 kilos) when she was born -- but now she's an armful!
Early Saturday morning as curators and staff were readying the zoo for the hurricane, the lamb was found cuddled next to her mother, Truffle, in the Tish Children’s Zoo. She weighed 4 kilograms or about 8 pounds. Her father is named Sid. Irene Hope will nurse for approximately 3-4 months.
“On a day of great uncertainty for New York City, the lamb brought smiles and hope to all of us at the zoo,” said Susan Cardillo, an assistant curator for Central Park Zoo. “We had to name her Irene Hope. She was a big surprise. It is rare to see a lamb born in late August.”
After finding the lamb and making sure she was healthy, Irene Hope was secured with her mother in their stable as the storm roared through the area. The first 24 hours of nursing is critical to a lamb’s health. As flood waters receded around the zoo early on Sunday, Cardillo was relieved when she found lamb and ewe resting peacefully. Irene Hope is a Southdown or baby doll sheep, one of the oldest breeds of sheep that originate from Sussex, England.
Prague Zoo has welcomed its first Alaskan or Dall Sheep lamb. The birth is relatively rare for zoos in general. While the fluffy white lamb's sex is as yet undetermined, if it is male, it will grow long curled horns. The new lamb is playful and able to spring about with dexterity, even at this young age. Its wild cousins use these skills to navigate the rugged and inhospitable terrain of the Alaskan wilderness.
The Los Angeles Zoo’s Koala joey, Peninsular Pronghorn twins and desert Bighorn Sheep made their media debut yesterday.
The Zoo’s baby boom kicked off last year with the July 6 birth of a female Koala. Since newborn Koalas spend about six months developing in the mother’s pouch, this joey has just recently begun to emerge. Baby Koalas are commonly referred to as joeys. When a Koala is born, it is just three-fourths of an inch long. After birth they climb into the mother’s pouch and stay there for six months. For the following six months, they are weaned from milk to eucalyptus as they stick their heads out of the pouch to eat partially digested leaves. After a year, they leave the pouch for good.
Although they are often referred to as a “Koala bear,” Koalas belong to the marsupial family. Marsupials are mammals whose females typically rear their young in a pouch through early infancy. Other members of the marsupial family are Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wallaroos, Wombats and Opossums. Native to Australia, Koalas have a very low metabolic rate requiring them to conserve energy and to sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day. They spend about three of their five active hours eating a diet that consists entirely of eucalyptus leaves. Koalas consume 2 ½ pounds of leaves per day and rarely drink water due to the moisture found in eucalyptus leaves.
March 20, brought the birth of a female Desert Bighorn Sheep. This species is native to the high mountains and deserts of the south western United States and northern Mexico. Preferring to reside in places with rocky terrain and access to water, they completely avoid forested areas.
Bighorn Sheep can be seen in our local San Gabriel Mountains, though their population is threatened by many factors including drought, predators, disease and fires. The most recognizable characteristic of the Bighorn Sheep is the male’s massive, spiraled horns and their majestic faces. These horns may add up to one third of their total body weight when they’re full grown. Females have much smaller horns.
On March 1, two Peninsular Pronghorn, one male and one female, were born. Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, these graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk. Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this critically endangered species.
Newborn Pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.
Typically, a Pronghorn mother will have one or two fawns weighing in at around seven or eight pounds. When they reach adulthood, pronghorns weigh up to 125 pounds and reach a height of 35 inches. The females are usually 10 to 25 percent smaller then males.
On Monday, April 26, 2010, a female desert bighorn sheep was born at the Los Angeles Zoo. The healthy newborn lamb is on exhibit with her parents in the North American area of the Zoo. As male desert bighorn sheep mature, they develop massive spiraled horns that may add up to one third of their total body weight. Females have much smaller horns. However, both sexes have excellent vision and hearing as well as an innate ability for climbing rugged terrain.
On March 25th, twin ewe (female) lambs were born to Cosley Zoo’s ewe Opal. Each of the lambs weighed about 10 lbs at birth. Another of the Wheaton, Illinois Zoo’s ewes, Pearl, gave birth to a single ram (male) lamb on April 2nd. He weighed a whooping 15 lbs at birth!
ZooBorns usually eschews domestic breeds but the recent announcement of twin Jacob's four-horned lambs at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo seemed appropriate for spring. Jacob's sheep may be descendants of Norse breeds brought to England by the Vikings during raids over 1,000 years ago.
Watching the video below, ZooBorns co-founders can't help but think it vindicates their moderately crazy 10th grade English teacher and his analysis of Blake's poem The Lamb, "It's exciting to pet the lamb and see him spring about and all that." - Mr. B, 1996