What is New at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?

A better question would be: “Who is new at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?”

2022, like the year before, brought a number of animal babies to our local zoo and my husband and I visited there twice to welcome the new additions—on August 31 and October 21.

The zoo’s first newborn, a spring baby, was Rocky Mountain Goat kid Blanca, born on May 4. By the time we met her in August, her three-month-old self was already agilely climbing boulders and posing over the rocky realm she shares with her parents Lena and Albert, besides several other relatives. In the attached photo, her little horns are just visible.

3-month-old Rocky Mountain Goat kid Blanca, born May 4, 2022

Red River hoglet August, aka Gus, was born August 12 to mother Zena and father Huey. When we visited later that month, he was still too shy to show himself in public, so we didn’t get to say hi to him until October. By then, he was confident enough not to have to remain close to his parents or elder sister, Pinto, every waking minute. He also had already learned about the pleasure associated with napping in the embrace of a sunbeam.

Red River Hog family

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover cursor over it. 

One of the reasons for returning to the zoo in October was to catch a glimpse of a newborn giraffe who had been dropped (literally) from her mother’s womb a mere two days earlier. The staff cautioned all visitors that Mom and baby would only be available for viewing if they showed no signs of stress from the attention. And while the “little” girl was napping the first time we stopped by the nursery, she was awake and active a few hours later, striding through the barn on her long, slender legs, rubbing against Mom’s still longer legs, and even nursing a few times. She seemed completely unfazed by the many eyes and camera lenses on her and watching this youngster ease into her new life was delightful.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is known for its Reticulated Giraffe breeding program which has resulted in 203 calves seeing the light of the world since 1954. This most recent giraffe girl was born to second-time mother, Bailey, and Khalid, the zoo’s only adult bull, who has fathered many offspring. It is common practice for zoos not to name newborn animals for at least one month and to then ask the public to vote for a name. The giraffe care team suggested three: Gizmo (after a character from the movie Gremlins), Wednesday, and D.D. (for Darling Daughter, as Bailey’s first daughter became B.B., short for Bailey’s Baby).  In this instance, the vote’s result was revealed at the end of November: Wednesday (in honor of her birthday on Wednesday, October 19, and of a character from the Addams family, because of the birth’s temporal relation to Halloween).

Reticulated Giraffe Bailey, 2nd time mother

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I would be remiss not to give you an update on Omo, one of our zoo’s stars, whom many of you have met before. The “baby” hippo turned one in July and by the end of October, tipped the scale at nearly 700 pounds! On the day of our October visit, he was once again frolicking in the pool with his Mom, before both enjoyed a snack of hay in the still-warm late autumn sun. We think the bronze sculpture in their “Water’s Edge” exhibit does Omo and Zambesi justice. Do you agree?

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover cursor over it. 

Hippo sculpture at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo honoring Zambesi and Omo

41 thoughts on “What is New at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo?

  1. The tiny giraffe is adorable…Wednesday has such a lot of growing still to do! And the zoo’s breeding record is very impressive: it’s good to see such a long term commitment (nearly 70 years) to just one species. Blanca’s very special too, and is plainly old enough already to have a few adventures. Thank you for sharing this good news post, Tanja, we all need good news right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww, they are all so precious. My favorite is Blanca but I am a goat-a-phile or whatever the real word is. Did I ever tell you that I interned at Chester Zoo in England? It was one of the first conservation zoos in the world. While I was there, they helped revive a species of bat from the Dominican Republic that was essential for banana fertilization. That was 40 years ago!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love seeing baby animals (and birds of course), but it’s been 7 years since I let my zoo membership lapse as I moved from the convenient location of 1 tram ride direct to the zoo’s rear entrance.

    I currently live 3.9kms as the crow flies from the zoo, but no direct route as there is no road across the river from my home location.

    Thanks for sharing these cute animals 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love baby animals, do you?, I think it’s in our nature.
      Maybe you can get back to your zoo one of these days, even if the trip will be a little cumbersome. I don’t know how expensive a taxi or other delivery service would be, or maybe you could convince a friend with a car to take you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s nothing more delightful than a baby animal, and all of these are precious. Well, I’m not sure that applies to the baby hippo; maybe ‘appealing’ would do. I did a double take on Wednesday’s name, though. In Liberia, children often were named for the day of their birth, and they’d carry that name until they were about two or so. A ‘real’ name wasn’t given until the family was sure the child would survive. There’s little doubt that your Wednesday will both survive and thrive — what a cutie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scientists have established that the older babies get, the less cute we find them. Maybe Omo has crossed that line already.
      I’m not a fan of the name Wednesday. Not knowing the Addams Family character, I find it somewhat impersonal. I didn’t realize that Liberians named their children for the day of their birth. What a sad statement about the high rates of infant mortality. 😢


  5. Wonderful post, I always enjoy newborn wildlife, especially ones you do not get to see in our usual fields. I can’t believe how big that mountain goat is at 3 months, but that definitely doesn’t compare to 700 pounds of hippo ..wow! Baby giraffes are my Achilles heal – makes me melt. A number of years back our zoo lost their baby giraffe due to a freak accident in the pen and still tough for me to go back there and see the parents. Thanks for bringing a huge smile Tanja.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed our zoo’s recent arrivals, Brian, but I’m sorry if my post brought back sad memories of the baby giraffe who passed away. I imagine that it’s particularly hard for zoo keepers to deal with deaths in animals they care for, especially if they aren’t “natural.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries Tanja, hopefully the zoo has changed their habitat (they had a tree with a V in it) and future baby giraffes will not have to worry about it. We had the privilege of seeing several baby G’s on our trip to Wichita for a wedding last September – they event was held at a zoo and they let us walk the grounds between the ceremony and the reception – even let us pet a sloth. Oh, and the ring bearer was a penguin.

        Liked by 1 person

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