"You can do it, kid!" I yelled at the screen as I watched a baby guanaco born at the SF Zoo Saturday take her first, wobbly steps. "You got this!" And, wonderfully, she did!
The baby, who has yet to be named, came on the scene at about 2 p.m. Saturday, born after an 11 or so month gestation period to eight-year-old mother Milagro and three-year-old (you go, Milagro!) Cusco. Both parents are also guanacos, which along with camels, llamas, alpacas and vicunas are a member of the Camelid family. This is the first child for them both.
About an hour after the chulengo (that's what young guanacos are called) was born, she took her first steps, the SF Zoo says. Here's what that was like:
“Animal births are always exciting, but this one is extra special because it’s the first guanaco birth at SF Zoo,” SF Zoo president Tanya M. Peterson says.
The chulengo weighs between 15-30 pounds, Zoo staff says, and is "in excellent condition," nursing and bonding with her mom, with whom she'll stay for at least the next year.
At present, you can't see the Zoo's new kid, as "mother and infant are being given privacy to bond in area that is not publicly visible," they say. The Zoo's "animal care team will determine in a number of weeks when the new mother and chulengo will rejoin the other animals," they say, so until then, you'll have to subsist on the above photos and video of the proud mother and her kid.