Lehigh Valley Zoo Welcomes First-Ever Alpaca Birth, New Wallaby and Owl | WDIY Local News
The local zoo is welcoming a milestone birth, along with the arrival of two new residents.
The Lehigh Valley Zoo said in a recent release that it had its first-ever alpaca birth on Sept. 12.
The male baby, called a cria, was born to five-year-old female Illuminati and seven-year-old male Havoc. The parents were brought to the zoo together in October 2022 from a private facility for breeding purposes and have been monitored by animal care staff.
Illuminati and the cria are reported to be doing well, and the pair have been out on exhibit during the day.
Native to the central and southern Andes Mountains, alpacas are the smallest of the domesticated camelid species. Their gestation period typically lasts around 11-12 months.
Earlier this month, zoo officials had announced that another one of its alpacas, named White Lightning, had died at the age of 16.
The zoo also announced the addition of two new animals to its other exhibits.
A one-and-a-half-year-old male tammar wallaby, named Tamale, arrived from the Buffalo Zoo to join the Lehigh Valley Zoo’s existing male wallaby, Dwight.
Dwight’s half-sibling, eight-year-old Mose, died in early August.
The release said the Lehigh Valley Zoo has a bachelor mob of wallabies, and that the species is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. There are currently just over 40 tammar wallabies at 12 AZA institutions combined across the United States.
The second new arrival is a red morph eastern screech owl, which came from the Cricket Wildlife Center in Alburtis, the only wildlife rescue and rehabber in the Lehigh Valley.
The owl was found as an injured fledgling in May 2023, and is estimated to be around five months old. The release said the young female owl had injured tendons in her leg and foot that inhibited her from being able to hunt, which meant that she could no longer survive in the wild.
The zoo held an online naming contest for the owl last week on social media. On Monday, the Lehigh Valley Zoo announced that according to the contest results, the new owl will be named “Minerva.”
(Original air-date: 9/25/23)