Meet Willow: Tacoma zoo’s new muskox calf is big enough to wander
Sep 28, 2023, 3:14 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm
The zoo’s veterinary team is watching the pair carefully and, so far, no problems.
At 3 weeks old, Willow the muskox calf knows that life is brimming with possibilities and that puddles are meant for splashing! ☔
📹: Assistant Curator Shannon pic.twitter.com/GztRnpfl6x
— Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (@PtDefianceZoo) September 27, 2023
You can find Willow the muskox wandering around the zoo’s grassy Arctic Tundra habitat, sticking closely to mom.
“Charlotte is very attentive, and she’s taking great care of her calf,” Telena Welsh one of the zoo’s curators, said on the Point Defiance website. “Over time, the calf will become more confident, and the pair will explore more of their habitat together.’
Meanwhile, keepers are gently approaching the perimeter of the habitat and offering Willow leaf browse – Charlotte’s favorite – to get the pair comfortable with their care team.
Willow got her name thanks in large part due to the fans who voted in a recent online poll.
Out of more than 11,200 votes, Willow was a clear winner with 43% of the vote, with runner-up names Aurora (27%), Juneau (16%) and Artemis (14%).
Why was Willow on the list? Because willow is a favorite food of the zoo’s muskoxen, Charlotte, Hudson (Willow’s dad) and the calf, the zoo said.
“Within her first week of life, the calf was imitating Charlotte and mouthing willow so her new name is perfect for her,” explained assistant curator Shannon Smith in a piece published on the zoo website about the initial name suggestion. “She is getting most of her nutrition from nursing but mouths on food that mom eats, like timothy hay, willow, bark, and grass.”
Whether her name is Willow, Juneau or something else, you can’t beat the cute pictures.
Contributing: Steve Coogan