Bites at Animal Planet

14 Jul

UK Wildlife Park Welcomes Baby Muskox!

On June 2, 2014, the Highland Wildlife Park in the Scotland was very excited to announce the arrival of a new baby muskox calf. The new calf is being closely monitored in hopes that he continues to grow and become stronger. The muskox is a native to the Artic and was hunted almost into extinction for its fur and meat. Thanks to conservation regulation, reintroductions and natural colonization, the species now has much higher populations.

Apl-bites-baby-musk-ox-500x500

Photo Credit: Jan Morse

The calf’s mother, Karin, was born in the Czech Republic in 2002.  The new calf’s birth is a major event because muskox are very difficult to breed due to their extremely high neonatal mortality rates.  The first muskox calf to survive until adulthood was born in the United Kingdom in 1992. 

The Highland Wildlife Park also faces challenges due to the aggressive nature of adults.  Last year, a muskox calf that was born at the park died from an injury caused by one of her parents when she was five months old.  The keepers are doing everything possible to ensure that this new calf does not suffer the same fate. 

The calf and his mother will remain off show for an undetermined amount of time, and he will receive his name at a later date.  As the calf grows, he will slowly be introduced into his large grass enclosure, and later his father.

To see the size this baby muskox will grow up to, watch the video below:

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