TACOMA, Wash. — The newest resident at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma has arrived.
Charlotte the muskox gave birth to a healthy female calf on Thursday morning, Sept. 7, according to the zoo.
The one-day-old calf is beginning to wander around the zoo’s grassy Arctic Tundra habitat and sticking closely to her mom, according to the zoo. The zoo’s veterinary team conducted a health exam of mother and calf on Friday morning.
“The calf appears to be doing well and is gradually becoming steadier on her legs,” said veterinarian Dr. Kadie Anderson. “She’s remarkably cute and is off to a good start.”
Muskoxen are grazing herd animals that roam tundra and prairies of Greenland, Alaska and northern Canada, according to the zoo. Almost immediately after birth, calves can walk and keep up with their herds.
The new calf is approximately 20 pounds and has no horns - yet. Horns will grown in within the next year, the zoo said. The calf's mother Charlotte weighs 671 pounds and the calf's father Hudson weighs 757 pounds.
Hudson was born in 2016 and arrived at Point Defiance Zoo as a calf, too, according to the zoo.
“Charlotte is very attentive, and she’s taking great care of her calf,” said Telena, a zoo curator. “Over time, the calf will become more confident, and the pair will explore more of their habitat together.”
Zookeepers, in preparation of getting both Charlotte and the new calf comfortable with their care, are approaching the perimeter of the habitat and offering a mix of willow tree leaves, twigs and branches to both.