STORY: The mother pudu, Riley, gave birth on Sunday, August 7. She had been on an injectable form of birth control, which does wear off over time, said lead keeper Andrea Dougall.
“We weren’t totally surprised. We had a feeling that it might be coming,” said Dougall, who was on shift on Sunday and noticed Riley making birthing movements in the exhibit.
Riley had been looking a bit heavier as of late, Dougall added.
The zoo keeps some animals on birth control to give zookeepers more opportunity to observe and learn about a species prior to it breeding. The pudu is a relatively new animal at the Oakland Zoo, so zookeepers wanted to be ready and have a safe habitat prepared for the species when they did begin to breed.
Southern Pudus reside in temperate rainforests and deciduous forests, according to the zoo. They’re also found in southern Chile and southwestern Argentina.
Dougall said so far everything has been normal for the newborn, which has yet to be named.