‘Sassy’ Mountain Goat Gives Birth to Sassy Kid

The Oregon Zoo announced the arrival of a new kid. Mountain Goat, Sassy, gave birth May 20.

Mom and kid can be seen amid the rocky crags of the Zoo’s “Cascade Crest” habitat, just past the zoo’s main entrance.

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4_05-21-2018goat-351Photo Credits: Kathy Street / Oregon Zoo

While mothers of some species keep their newborns hidden away for several weeks, Mountain Goat kids are typically on their feet within minutes after birth, quickly learning to navigate their sparse and rocky alpine environment.

Sassy’s kid was no exception, according to Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo’s Great Northwest area. “She gave birth between 8 and 8:20 Saturday evening, and her kid was already on its feet by 8:30,” Cutting said. “We saw it do a playful hop less than an hour after it was born. Mountain Goat kids are extremely precocious.”

Zookeepers had been aware that Sassy was pregnant and saw signs of labor early in the afternoon before the birth, so they had been keeping a close watch into the night.

Now that the new kid has arrived, keepers will continue to observe the pair to ensure all is going well. However, it appears Sassy doesn’t seem to need any help, according to Cutting.

“Although Sassy’s a first-time mom, she grew up in a herd and has seen other births before,” Cutting said. “So far, she’s been very attentive and is nursing her kid regularly. The two have been heard vocalizing to each other and they seem to be bonding well.”

Caregivers won’t know whether the new kid is male or female until its first veterinary check, probably in about a week.

Cutting also shared that the Zoo’s other adult Mountain Goats (male Honovi, who is the father, and female Montane) seem unconcerned about the new arrival, and have been giving Sassy and her kid some space to get acquainted.

Montane is also believed to be pregnant, and could give birth within 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.

Montane has not experienced birth before. She arrived at the Oregon Zoo in 2009 and was an orphan, rescued by Idaho wildlife officials.

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.

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