Springtime is baby animal season and we are seeing so many cute little critters running around Zion. From wild turkeys birthing chicks to deer fawn grazing in the meadows, baby animals are springing to life in Zion.
Welcome to the World
First we’d like to announce the arrival of our very own baby Typhoon, here at Zion Ponderosa. The colt was born on May 19 at 11:30 a.m., weighing in at roughly 150 pounds. Our head wrangler Lisa reports that both baby and mama Q are doing well!
Mule deer are the most commonly sighted animals in Zion National Park, often seen grazing in the early morning or evening, when the weather is cooler. It’s not unusual for deer to explore campgrounds or the banks of the Virgin River. Fawns are born during late May and early June, often as twins, and usually have spotted coats for their first few months of life. Newborn fawns can be spotted resting peacefully in meadows or enjoying the shade of a tree as they wait for their mama to return. Never approach these gentle creatures, as their mother is usually nearby.
Baby Bighorn Sheep
With mating season from July to October and a six-month gestation, lamb are typically born between mid-January and the end of April. That means plenty of opportunity for spotting baby bighorn around Zion through spring and early summer. Although desert bighorn sheep have been part of the southwest landscape for nearly 12,000 years, they were actually extinct locally in the mid-20th century, and were slowly reintroduced into the Zion wilderness. From 14 in 1978 to 400+, the bighorn sheep population is booming in Zion. They can often be spotted on Zion’s east side, hoofing it up and down the sandstone cliffs. If you see them, especially between Zion Mt. Carmel Tunnel and the east entrance to Zion National Park, drive carefully and stop at designated pullouts for viewing from a safe distance.
Why Did the Wild Turkey Cross the Road?
Probably to get some peace and quiet! There’s certainly an abundance of wild turkeys—around 20,000—in and around Zion, and springtime brings a new generation of chicks. Despite the current wild turkey population, they actually disappeared from the Zion area for many years, until the population was re-established in the 1980s. Keep an eye out for wild turkey babies on Zion Ponderosa, and on the road to Zion National Park.
Wild Animals Are Wild
As we gear up for a record number of visitors to Zion this summer, please keep these things in mind when encountering wildlife, especially during baby animal season:
- Never approach or wildlife. Always view and photograph from a safe distance.
- Don’t feed the animals. Even if the animal appears hungry or to be begging for food, never feed wildlife.
- Don’t stray off the beaten path. Doing so can cause harm to the animals’ natural habitats.
All of Zion’s animals are protected by its National Park designation. Learn 10 Cool Facts about Zion’s wildlife here.