New kid on the block: Oregon Zoo welcomes baby mountain goat
PORTLAND, Ore. – A new furry friend will be greeting guests at the Oregon Zoo, as mountain goat Sassy gave birth over the weekend.
Staff said the baby was quick to get on its feet. Sassy is already showing her kid around the Cascade Crest exhibit, which is located right inside the zoo’s main entrance.
“We saw it do a playful hop less than an hour after it was born. Mountain goat kids are extremely precocious,” said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo’s Great Northwest area.
Staff will continue to monitor the pair, but Cutting said that Sassy has been nursing and caring for her kid. They will give the baby its first vet checkup in a week. That is when they will determine if it is male or female.
“Although Sassy’s a first-time mom, she grew up in a herd and has seen other births before… the two have been heard vocalizing to each other and they seem to be bonding well,” Cutting said.
Staff said herd member Montane is also thought to be pregnant and could give birth in a month.
“We’re excited that Sassy went first, so Montane has a chance to observe her and hopefully learn a few things,” Cutting said.
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In the Pacific Northwest, wild mountain goats live on various peaks in the Washington Cascades and across Oregon ranges like the Elkhorns and Wallowas. They also can be seen on the Olympic Peninsula, where they are non-native — introduced there by a hunting group in the 1920s — and have become a threat to local wildlife.
In March, the National Park Service announced plans to relocate 90 percent of the Olympic mountain goat population to its native range. The Oregon Zoo has contributed $5,000 toward transport enclosures to aid in the effort.
As part of the Metro family, the Oregon Zoo helps make greater Portland a great place to call home. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects focused on saving animals from extinction include studies on polar bears, orangutans and cheetahs.