Two baby Dall’s sheep born at Como Zoo in April now have names
Meet Iao, born April 1!
Iao was welcomed into the world April 1st and is now prancing about in her home at Como Zoo. She shares her home with her mother Drizzle, father Sylvester, three-year-old Aunt Sunny, and another baby born to Sunny on April 24th. A donor to Como Friends, Como’s non-profit partner, was given the opportunity to name the April 1st baby. According to the donor, Iao means “cloud”, and it is also the name of a valley in Maui that he and his wife love. He also added, “we look forward to visiting her and her family. The Dall sheep are so majestic. Thank you to the whole team for all you do.”
Meet Breezy, born April 24!
Como Zoo celebrated the third birthday of Sunny on the morning of April 24th, and then in the evening of April 24th Sunny gave birth to Breezy! Breezy is the 2nd lamb for Sunny. The name Breezy was chosen by the zookeepers who care for Como’s hoofed animals which include the Dall sheep, bison, giraffe, zebra, and kudu.
“Breezy seems to fit her personality” said zookeeper Jill Erzar. “She scampers around so lightly and is surprisingly very graceful for a baby not even a week old. It’s an added bonus that it fits the fun weather theme we have for names.”
“Sunny is a good mama. She’s laid back and lets the baby explore”, said Erzar. “Drizzle is a good mama too, but is definitely more of a helicopter mom. Both babies are healthy, eating well, and are very, very adorable”.
The Dall’s sheep can be seen every day at Como Zoo, but reservations, which are free and can be found on Como’s website, are required, as are facemasks.
Dall’s sheep are most notable for the males’ (known as rams) massive curled horns. Females (known as ewes) also carry horns, but theirs are shorter and more slender, and only slightly curved. Until rams reach the age of 3 years, they tend to resemble the ewes quite a bit. After that, continued horn growth makes the males easily recognizable. Horns grow steadily during spring, summer, and early fall. In late fall or winter, horn growth slows and eventually ceases. This start-and-stop growth results in a pattern of rings called annuli which are spaced along the length of the horn, and can help determine age. The typical gestation period for a Dall’s sheep is 175 days and yields one baby.