Visitors can see Montane and her 3-day-old baby at the zoo's Cascade Crest habitat
The only thing cuter than one baby mountain goat? Two baby mountain goats.
Montane, one of the zoo's adult mountain goats, gave birth Friday morning to a bouncing baby kid. This is the second mountain goat born at the Oregon Zoo in less than a month — in late May, Montane's herdmate Sassy welcomed a new kid, the first to be born at the zoo in more than 15 years.
Montane and her kid can be seen amid the rocky crags of the Cascade Crest habitat just past the zoo's main entrance. To see video of the new kid on the rock, go to bit.ly/babymountaingoat.
This is a particularly significant birth for Montane, who was an orphan rescued by Idaho wildlife officials.
"Since she didn't grow up in a herd, Montane doesn't have much experience with birth and young kids," said Amy Cutting, who oversees the zoo's Great Northwest area. "It was really fortuitous that Sassy had her baby first, and Montane got a chance to observe and learn from her."
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. The new kid was out exploring within an hour, with Montane close by to keep watch.
"It was up on its feet right away, though a little wobbly" said Cutting. "Mountain goat kids are extremely precocious and nurse within the first few hours. We were glad to see the pair figuring things out pretty quickly."
Caregivers won't know whether the new kid is male or female until its first veterinary check, probably in about a month.
Sassy and Finnegan will take turns outside with Montane and her new kid until everyone has a chance to get to know each other. Male mountain goat Honovi, the father of both the young ones, knows better than to get too inquisitive and is keeping a respectful distance, according to Cutting.
"We're thrilled to have two healthy mountain goat babies in Cascade Crest," Cutting said. "As they get older, we anticipate lots of fun interaction between the two kids."
Mountain goats are known for their amazing climbing and balancing abilities. Last summer, Cutting got iPhone video of Sassy and Montane enjoying an energetic bout of poetry-in-motion parkour: bit.ly/MountainGoatParkour.
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.
The Oregon Zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.