Fred and Ginger, the pair of Southdown sheep at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo might not be as light on their feet as their dancing namesakes, but their new baby has a spritely spring in her step.
The little lamb was born to the delight of keepers and docents who were on hand to observe the exciting event. It took about ten minutes to deliver the tiny lamb which climbed to her feet about five minutes later. After a good night’s rest and plenty of nursing, visitors were able to see Prospect Park Zoo’s first newborn in the barn area.
Southdown sheep are also known as babydoll sheep, a name given to the breed in the 1980’s when the original British southdown bloodline was reintroduced to the United States and marketed as pets and animals suitable for 4H projects. Babydoll sheep are sometimes used to manage weeds in California vineyards where, due to their small size and short legs, they cannot reach the grapes.
The new lamb has not yet been given a name. The opportunity to name her will be given to one of this summer’s teen volunteers who are vying for the privilege in a contest. The volunteer who garners the most compliments from visitors for their interpretive skills and/or helpfulness will get to name the lamb.
Anyone visiting the barn area of the zoo should be sure to say hello to our babydoll family. If you would like to compliment one of the zoo’s ambitious teen volunteers, let a zoo staffer know or drop a note in the Moo Box in the barn.