COLORADO SPRINGS — There’s a very fluffy, adorably squeaky new kid on the rocks at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZ).
On Wednesday, CMZoo’s first baby of spring was delivered by their Rocky Mountain goat, Lena. At 3:15 p.m., Lena delivered a calf who was on her feet and working out her wobbly legs within minutes.
CMZ confirmed that the goat is a girl and weighs about eight pounds.
“Rocky Mountain goat kids are famous for being capable right out of the gate,” said Michelle Salido, lead keeper at CMZ. “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.”
The animal care team stayed with Lena and her baby through the evening to make sure the first feeding went well. According to CMZ, first feedings are extremely important for a newborn animal because the mother’s milk contains colostrum. Colostrum consists of important nutrients and antibodies. The baby goat attempted to nurse unsuccessfully for about three hours until the team stepped in and hand-fed her first meal.
The team helped feed the baby with a colostrum substitute. Afterwards, they reunited her with her mother and the two have been bonding well since, according to CMZ’s press release. The baby has been seen nursing consistently since Wednesday night.
“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.”
Guests can see Lena and her baby in the Rocky Mountain goat habitat if they choose to stay visible.