Examining three mountain goat kids in a row? That’s all in a day’s work for a wildlife park that’s looking after 10 goat kids until they go to their new homes.
“All right,” said Dr. Allison Case, Northwest Trek veterinarian, checking off her notes. “We’ve done weight, we’ve done blood samples, fecal samples, dewormer, fly spray, vaccinations, hoof trim, antibiotic. We just have the rest of the physical and we’re done.”
The goat kid with the yellow ear tag sleeping peacefully under anesthetic was just the first of three to have exams that day in the Northwest Trek veterinary clinic, and one of 10 living behind the scenes at the wildlife park after recent translocation efforts in the Olympic mountains. A collaboration by Northwest Trek, regional zoos and government agencies, the project relocates mountain goats out of the Olympic Mountains, where they are non-native, to restore depleted populations in their native Cascade range.
Five kids were given a permanent home at Northwest Trek last year. This year, a historic 10 kids have been cared for temporarily as they wait to move to permanent homes in other zoos. One will remain to join the other five in the Free-Roaming Area.
But meanwhile, they needed check-ups – and some impressive keeper-vet coordination.
After veterinary technician Tracy Cramer finished labeling samples and Case finished up the exam, they gathered around the table with keepers Becky Wagar and Deanna Edwards
“You take that end,” said Wagar. “Ready? Go.”
She and Edwards carefully hoisted the fluffy white goat kid and carried him, still sleeping, around and into a barn filled with a goat playground of logs, stumps and playhouses. Nine other kids glanced over, then kept chewing.
After injections to reverse the anesthesia, the kid lightly sprang to his feet, shook himself down, and cantered off to join the group, watched attentively by his human care team.
“Perfect,” said Case.