Mountain goat Honovi has new home at Oregon Zoo

October 15, 2015 - 4:08pm

A 5-year-old male from Colorado joins Montane at the zoo's Cascade Crest

Montane the mountain goat has some new company atop her rocky Cascade Crest home at the Oregon Zoo. The 6-year-old nanny met up with Honovi, a 5-year-old male mountain goat from Colorado, for the first time this morning.

Honovi, whose name is Hopi for "strong," was born at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in May 2010. His transfer to Portland was arranged in order to provide a companion for Montane, an orphan who was rescued by Idaho wildlife officials and given a home here in 2009.

Animal-care personnel at the Potawatomi Zoo (to which Montane belongs), Oregon Zoo and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are hopeful the pair will hit it off and perhaps add to the population of this iconic Northwest species. Fewer than 10 AZA-accredited zoos currently house mountain goats, and Honovi is the only breeding-age male in the zoo population.

Honovi had a chance to explore the Cascade Crest habitat on his own before meeting Montane, and he seemed to feel at home right away, according to keepers.

"He walked the whole area, climbed up on the rocks and got used to the terrain," said Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo's North America section. "Then he sprawled out on the grass in the sunshine. He was really relaxed out there."

Mountain goats are known for their amazing climbing and balancing abilities. In the Pacific Northwest, wild mountain goats may be seen on various peaks in the Washington Cascades and Olympic Peninsula, as well as Oregon's Wallowa Mountains.

"We are so happy to have a companion for Montane — and very appreciative of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo for sharing one of their favorite animals with us," said curator Amy Cutting, who oversees the Oregon Zoo's North America section. "Honovi will often be the first animal people encounter when they visit the zoo, and we think he cuts a striking figure up there on the rocks."

Honovi should be visible most days at the Cascade Crest habitat, as long as he and Montane continue to get along.