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Welcome spring babies! A pudu and mountain goat are born

Posted by Gigi Allianic, Communications
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

We are teeming with new babies this spring! The newest members of the family are a male pudu fawn and a female mountain goat kid. The new babies join the burgeoning population of other babies born or hatched at the zoo since March including a gorilla, a pair of agoutis, a couple of penguins, two scaly-sided mergansers, and a wallaby and wallaroo.

Pudu fawn peeking out from the spring grass.
Pudus are the smallest deer species in the world and are native to South America. The new pudu fawn was born May 14 to first-time parents Maggie and Ted. The last pudu birth at the zoo was 10 years ago.

“The new mom is providing good maternal care to her fawn. We’re pleased he’s nursing and mom and fawn are bonding,” says Mark Myers, an animal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “We’ll continue to monitor the new family closely.” The pudus live in the zoo’s Temperate Forest habitat.

The pudu parents were paired under the Pudu Species Survival Plan, which is a cooperative, conservation breeding program across accredited zoos to help ensure a healthy, self-sustaining population of the species. There are approximately 33 pudus in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) population, with more females than males. The new baby male will be even more important to the AZA population.

The mountain goat kid was born May 15 and is the first offspring for mom Atlin and dad Zeus. The last birth of a mountain goat kid at the zoo was in 2018. The other member of the herd is a female, Hera.

Zeus and Hera arrived at Woodland Park Zoo in 2018 and 2019, respectively, as young kids under a project to relocate non-native mountain goats from Olympic National Park to the North Cascades. Woodland Park Zoo partnered with Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Oregon Zoo to provide permanent homes to goat kids without known mothers.

Because Zeus was born in the wild, he is a founder animal. “The birth of Zeus’s first kid is wonderful news. As a founder animal, his genes are very valuable and will infuse genetic diversity into the North American zoo population,” says Kevin Murphy, an animal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “We can’t wait to share our new family of mountain goats with our community. It’s amazing to watch these sure-footed animals nimbly navigate the high crags and ledges in the Northern Trail habitat at the zoo.”

Our animal health staff performed neonatal exams on the newborns. The pudu weighed just under 2 pounds and the mountain goat 10 pounds. “Both animals appear to be healthy. Their body conditions show they’re getting good nutrition and hydration. Their energy levels are good and they have strong suckle reflexes,” says Dr. Darin Collins, director of animal health at Woodland Park Zoo.

About Pudus

· Woodland Park Zoo is home to the southern pudu species. It lives in the lower Andes of Chile and southwest Argentina.

· The small deer reaches only 14 to 18 inches high at the shoulder and weighs 14 to 30 pounds.

· The compact deer lives in temperate rain forests and favors dense underbrush and bamboo thickets, which provide good cover from predators. The pudu can easily move through dense vegetation and among rocks to escape predators such as puma, fox and feral dogs.

· Natural habitat for the near threatened pudu continues to diminish due to overpopulation, clearing of land for agriculture, logging, hunting and other human activities.

About Mountain Goats

· Rocky Mountain goats naturally range from southern Alaska, Canada, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Transplanted populations now live in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, South Dakota and Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

· They are remarkably adapted for life on steep, cold mountain ledges. Mountain goats live, sleep, and eat at elevations of 10,000 feet and up.

· They are especially adept at hanging out in extremely harsh conditions such as snowy slopes with pitches above 60 degrees, winds up to 100 mph, snow drifts of 30–60 feet high and chilly temperatures down to -50˚F.

· A mountain goat’s incredible adaptations allow it to live high above potential predators such as mountain lions, bears or wolverines. The only predator that lives above the timberline is the golden eagle which might attack a newborn or very young goat.

You can visit to help support the animals at Woodland Park Zoo. While the zoo is temporarily closed to the public, the exceptional animal care and veterinary teams, and other staff continue to work to provide dedicated care to more than 900 animals and a bundle of babies! As a non-profit organization, the zoo is relying on the community now more than ever to help these wonderful animals continue to thrive. Contributions, both big and small, will help creatures of all sizes.