COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 5, 2022) – 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 calf 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.”
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Keepers have spotted the Zoo's youngest Siamang, Rahsia (born Labor Day 2020), being extra playful in the mornings as she explores her habitat and tests more solid foods, like lettuce. As she grows older and more independent, you're likely to see her sticking close to her dad, Wayan. This is a normal behavior for her species, and keepers say it's a healthy sign of development as she becomes less reliant on mom, Eve.
It has been six months of Omo goodness, so Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is taking a little trip down memory lane AND showing you some new up-close Omo footage. Spoiler alert: incoming Omo window boops.
From watching Zambezi embrace motherhood for the first time with such a gentle nature to seeing Omo wild out in the pools, and every nap, plop and ear wiggle in between, it's been a joy sharing these two with you all. Happy six-month birthday, Omo!
Here comes Omo - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's loveable toothless wonder! The Colorado Springs Zoo's Keepers say their 5-month-old hippo calf has started growing tiny tusks. They still have quite a bit of growing to do before they reach his mom, Zambezi, or dad, Biko's, size. Keepers say right now his tusks are about the size of Tic Tacs!
September was a big month for Cheyenne Mountains Zoo’s (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
quickly growing Nile hippo calf. He got a name, explored new spaces and tried new foods. One thing didn't change for young Omo, though: his love for naps.
Join Water's Edge: Africa keeper, Grace, for an update on the Zoo’s two-month-old calf, and hear about how Omo's following in mom's footsteps literally and figuratively. Zambezi is a confident hippo, and her little boy is showing signs he'll be just the same!
At Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, red-necked wallaby Gidgee’s joey has been making more appearances out of the pouch, and it’s time to reveal his name! As a nod to wallabies’ native Australia, we named our newest joey Tim Tam (Tim, for short), after a popular cookie there.
At 7 months old, he has grown his full coat, and has begun popping out of mom’s pouch for quick zoomies, or to explore small bits of the grass of the wallaby yard. It usually isn’t long before he’s somersaulting back into mom’s pouch. We expect him to continue popping in and out of mom's pouch for another two months, or until mom decides it's time for him to move out.
September 13, 2021 (COLORADO SPRINGS) – Cheyenne Mountain Zoo today announced the name of its baby hippo with a video featuring the calf’s mom, Zambezi [zam-BEE-zee] making the big reveal.
Keepers set up an extra-special breakfast of carrots, oranges and hay for Zambezi in the shape of her calf's new name. As the video plays in reverse, the baby’s name, Omo [OH-moh], is revealed!
CMZoo staff voted on the baby’s name and, like his mom and aunt, the baby was named after a river in Africa. The seasonal flooding of the Omo River is vital for food cultivation by the indigenous groups that live along it. Water conservation is an important focus of Water's Edge: Africa, where the hippos live at CMZoo, and the calf's name aims to inspire Zoo fans to take action to conserve water.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes Nile hippopotamuses as a species vulnerable to extinction in the wild, estimating 125,000 to 150,000 remain in their native habitats. The primary threats are habitat loss and illegal and unregulated hunting. Hippos are hunted for their meat and for their ivory canine teeth.
Only 30 organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in North America, including Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, house hippos. As first-time parents, Biko’s and Zambezi’s offspring represents an important contribution to the population of hippos in human care. The Nile Hippopotamus Species Survival Plan manages the population’s breeding recommendations to achieve the highest possible genetic diversity in the pool.
With a final push, a little splash and some adorable baby hippo ear wiggles, 28-year-old Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Nile hippopotamus, Zambezi (zam-BEE-zee), welcomed her first calf on Tues. July 20. At 1:57 p.m., the baby hippo popped up from underwater, bobbed up and down, and swam right over to meet its mom. As long as things continue to go well for Zambezi and her baby, the hippo building will be open and guests can visit them in Water’s Edge: Africa right away. If Zambezi or the baby show signs they need more quiet time, the Zoo will close the area temporarily.
“It was an incredible moment to see this beautiful baby join our family,” said Philip Waugh, lead keeper at Water’s Edge: Africa. “Zambezi’s a first-time mom, but she knew just what to do. As soon as she delivered the calf, she turned around to greet it and started helping it to shallow water. I’m so proud of her.”
The brand-new buoyant bundle of joy is the first hippo born at CMZoo in 32 years. The moment brought eagerly awaiting CMZoo staff members to happy tears as the baby Nile hippo – a species vulnerable to extinction in the wild – made its debut. So far, mom and baby appear to be healthy and bonding well. Staff will continue monitoring the two hippos regularly and won’t separate mom and baby for an exam unless they think it’s medically necessary.
3,200-pound Zambezi is a well-known member of the CMZoo family, famous for her laid-back demeanor and loud hippo ‘laughs.’ She first came to CMZoo from Denver Zoo, in 1993. In June 2020, Biko (BEE-koh), a now 18-year-old long-legged male Nile hippo, joined the CMZoo hippo herd on a breeding recommendation with Zambezi and her sister, Kasai (kuh-SIGH). Biko and Zambezi took a shining to each other nearly immediately.
“Like any new couple, their first ‘dates’ had a few awkward moments, but once they connected, it was full-on hippo love,” said Waugh. “The two of them wanted to be together constantly, and we accommodated! They would do a hippo breeding ‘dance’ where they would swim nose-to-rear in a circle. We also saw them taking turns resting their heads on each other’s rear ends for little pool naps. They made it clear they liked each other. We saw their first successful breeding in November.”
Eight months later – a normal full-term gestation for Nile hippos – their little one is finally here. Normal newborn hippos can weigh between 40 and 80 pounds, and this calf appears to be in that range. Because there are no immediate plans to physically check the baby, its sex likely won’t be known for some time. The Zoo will make plans to name the baby after its one-month birthday, following Zoo tradition.
Although Zambezi’s care team was pretty sure she was pregnant, it was scientifically difficult to substantiate, so the team decided to wait and see instead of sharing the pregnancy news. Weight gain is not a reliable way to check for hippo pregnancy, because their daily weight regularly fluctuates by about 100 pounds. Ultimately, Zambezi’s pregnancy tests – including fecal samples and voluntary ultrasounds – were inconclusive. But, there’s no denying it now!
This baby is the fourth member of the hippo herd at CMZoo, and the fourth baby born at Water’s Edge: Africa since April. On April 26, ring-tailed lemur, Rogue, welcomed her first baby. On July 11, Rogue’s sister, Allagash, gave birth to twins. All first-time moms and their offspring are doing great.
Bailey, an 8-year-old reticulated giraffe at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, welcomed her very first calf to the herd at 11:37 a.m. yesterday, September 28. Bailey and the female giraffe calf are doing well. Following Cheyenne Mountain Zoo tradition, the calf will be named after she is 30 days old.
“You couldn’t ask anything more of a first-time mom,” said Jason Bredahl, giraffe animal care manager at CMZoo. “Bailey is nonstop grooming her baby, paying attention and making sure the baby is in a good position to nurse. Mom is doing a great job.”
The little calf is doing well, too. She’s already winning the hearts of CMZoo staff and online fans.
“This is probably the smallest giraffe calf I’ve ever seen,” said Bredahl. “Bailey is small for a giraffe, too, so that’s not surprising. She’s super adorable. She’s strong and is nursing well, so we’re really excited to share her with everyone as soon as we can.”
At first, the calf had a hard time standing because she had positioned herself in a corner of the stall and she kept bumping into the walls before she could get her footing. After waiting to see if she could get up on her own, keepers and vet staff asked Bailey to move into another area so they could give the calf a hand. The team picked her up and moved her into the middle of the stall around 1:27 p.m. She took her first steps on her own after a quick medical assessment, then a nudge from mom, at 1:38 p.m. As long as keepers observe that baby and mom are doing well, they will continue to let Bailey take the lead on providing her care.
The weight and height of the calf are not known yet, although keepers and vet staff say she is one of the smallest giraffe calves they’ve ever seen. Newborn giraffe calves are typically five to six feet tall and weigh 150 to 200 pounds. Exact measurements haven’t been taken, but this calf appears to weigh about 100 pounds and is around five-and-a-half feet tall.
The calf is the seventeenth member of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s reticulated giraffe herd. The calf is the first offspring for mom, Bailey, and the sixth to be sired by dad, Khalid (pronounced cull-EED). Bailey moved to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on a breeding recommendation in Sept. 2016. CMZoo’s breeding program began in 1954 and has welcomed more than 200 calves since its inception.
Thousands of worldwide viewers witnessed the calf’s birth on Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s live camera feed, which will continue to stream live from the sand stall, where Bailey and the calf will continue to bond for the coming weeks. The live stream of the birth stall, and both outdoor giraffe yard camera feeds, are available at cmzoo.org/giraffecam. The Zoo will continue to provide updates on their social media channels.
The barn will remain closed to guests for at least another day, to give the new calf time to bond with mom. Other members of the CMZoo herd will be available for viewing and feeding in the outside yard from elevated platforms, where guests can get eye-to-eye with and feed lettuce to the herd, weather permitting.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is not only a leader in the training and health of giraffe in human care, but they are also making a huge difference in conservation of giraffe in the wild. Reticulated giraffe, the subspecies to which CMZoo’s herd belongs, are endangered. There are just over 11,000 mature reticulated giraffe individuals in the wild, and that population is decreasing. According to International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the reticulated giraffe population has declined by 56% in the last thirty years.
In October and November 2019, CMZoo helped establish a new population of a critically endangered giraffe in Uganda. The Operation Twiga IV team successfully reintroduced 15 Nubian giraffe to Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, where they haven't existed in nearly 25 years. CMZoo VP of Mission and Programs, Dr. Liza Dadone, assisted with research and anesthesia, and provided care for the giraffe during the translocation. Our contribution to this effort is possible thanks to ongoing support from CMZoo members, guests and donors. Operation Twiga IV is led by Uganda Wildlife Authority with support from Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and other partners from around the world. See a video about the Zoo’s latest field conservation effort, Operation Twiga IV, here.
Through Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation program, by which 75 cents of every Zoo admission is allocated to conservation, guests have helped CMZoo send more than $3 million to support important conservation efforts since 2008.