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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Have you met Zeus the mountain goat?


Posted by Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Zeus the mountain goat, much like the king of the Greek gods who hailed from Mount Olympus, is handsome, athletic and sports a stunning white beard. Unlike his namesake, he will not be married to the goddess Hera, instead he’ll kick it with his new BFF Daisy.

Hey, Zeus! Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
Back in September, we told you about a group of non-native mountain goats being translocated from Olympic National Park during a multi-agency operation to re-establish and assist in connecting depleted populations of mountain goats in the Washington Cascades. The effort to translocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula is a partnership of the National Park Service (NPS), the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS), with support from area tribes. Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympics in the 1920s.


Video: A zen moment with the herd on the Northern Trail. Video: https://youtu.be/F-W8CXmanEU

All in all, there were 98 mountain goats translocated from Olympic National Park to the northern Cascade Mountains. Woodland Park Zoo partnered with Northwest Trek and Oregon Zoo to provide permanent homes to goat kids without known mothers. Six mountain goat kids that could not be paired up with their mothers were originally transferred to Northwest Trek. Zeus was one of those six and a few weeks later he settled into the herd here at Woodland Park Zoo. 

Zeus and Daisy on the slopes. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
Now, Zeus is acquainted with his herd on the Northern Trail and has been seen frolicking with Daisy, a young goat born at Woodland Park Zoo in June 2018. His keepers tell us he is quite smitten with Daisy and seems to get along well with aunties Bluebell and Atlin too. Zeus is a young goat, so he'll be perfecting his climb and balance as he grows. 

Zeus scouting out some green on the Northern Trail. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo.
Mountain goats are adapted for life on steep, cold mountain ledgesway high up at elevations of 10,000 feet and more. They rock thick, woolly white coats that protect them from the elements and have specially shaped hooves to grip the rocks.

Right now you can tell Zeus and Daisy apart from Atlin and Bluebelle because of their size and the smaller horns, but not for long! You can tell Zeus apart from Daisy, since she does not have an ear tag, and Zeus has a green ear tag on his left ear.

Keep a lookout on the Northern Trail for this handsome little rock climber! Welcome, Zeus!

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