First there was Walnut, a male Beaver living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Then came Nutmeg, a female who arrived from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park as a companion for Walnut…and now baby makes three!
Born April 29, the new kit is thriving and growing daily. Fuzzy brown, around 13 inches long and weighing just under 24 ounces, the baby Beaver is a nursing champion, taking every chance it can get to nestle up to mom. He or she also eagerly explores the habitat behind-the-scenes at the zoo’s Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater. The kit is not yet viewable by the public.
Staff aren’t yet sure about the sex of the kit. Beavers’ genitalia are hidden inside, making it impossible to determine their sex just by looking. In a few weeks, the veterinary team will send a blood sample for genetic testing, which will reveal the sex. At that point, the Wild Wonders staff will choose a name.
Beavers are born precocial, meaning they are a miniature version of adults, seeing well and moving independently.
The new baby spends most of each day snuggled up with mom and dad in their maternity suite at the zoo, where Nutmeg and Walnut have been crowd favorites in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater live animal show. They’re also popular during Close Encounters, where guests can get up-close views of various animals.
Meanwhile, the zoo’s veterinary team is visiting daily, weighing the Beaver kit to track growth and check on its health.
“It’s doing very well,” said Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Head Veterinarian, Karen Wolf. “Since birth, this kit has been an ‘eager beaver’ – if you’ll excuse the pun! – stomping around and looking for a nipple to nurse.”