BILLINGS, Mont. - The surprise baby beaver born last month at ZooMontana continues to surprise Zoo staff.
Baby Shiloh, a female North American beaver, is less than three weeks old. In July, her mother, Huckleberry, unexpectedly gave birth to two kits. Zoo staff were surprised because they didn't know Huckleberry was pregnant, and because the male beaver, Finn, was supposedly neutered.
Unfortunately, one kit was stillborn, and Shiloh herself was essentially dead at birth. The outlook for her was poor. But it appears Shiloh is full of surprises.
"When she was born not doing well, the vets, boy, they just jumped into action and were able to resuscitate her, which is amazing on such a small little creature, they were able to bring her back, and that right there is just an amazing story in itself," ZooMontana Executive Director Jeff Ewelt said. "And then, to see how well she's doing, and she's fought through that and has come back from what was a really low chance of survival, to now doing pretty darn good, we're pretty excited with how her future looks."
"It's been a highlight everyday to come in after she gets here," ZooMontana Assistant Curator Debra Harris said. "How much does she weigh and what's she eating? It's just like having a newborn kid around. And everybody wants to have a turn to hold her a little bit, or play with her. It's phenomenal."
Harris said Shiloh is growing fast and is starting to eat solid foods. Ewelt said it will be a while before the public can see the baby beaver.