As Hurricane Irene Roared, A Lamb is Born at WCS’s Central Park Zoo

A Lamb is Born at WCS’s Central Park Zoo Photo
Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Welcome Irene Hope Visitors Can Visit Lamb Starting Today

New York, NY, Sept.  1, 2011 –  A lamb was born at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo on Saturday, August 27, the day Hurricane Irene hit New York City.  Born in a stable as the city braced for the storm, she has been named Irene Hope.
Early Saturday morning as curators and staff were readying the zoo for the hurricane, the lamb was found cuddled next to her mother in the Tish Children’s Zoo.

“On a day of great uncertainty for New York City, the lamb brought smiles and hope to all of us at the zoo,” said Susan Cardillo, an assistant curator for Central Park Zoo. “We had to name her Irene Hope.  She was a big surprise. It is rare to see a lamb born in late August.”
After finding the lamb and making sure she was healthy, Irene Hope was secured with her mother in their stable as the storm roared through the area. The first 24 hours of nursing is critical to a lamb’s health. As flood waters receded around the zoo early on Sunday, Cardillo was relieved when she found lamb and ewe resting peacefully.

At birth, Irene Hope weighed 4 kilograms or about 8 pounds. Her mother is Truffle and her father is Sid. Irene Hope is a Southdown or baby doll sheep, one of the oldest breeds of sheep that originate from Sussex, England. In all, Central Park Zoo has six Southdown sheep: one ram, three ewes, and now three lambs.

Irene Hope will be nursed by her mother for approximately three to four months.

Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS
Video Available at:
Mary Dixon, 347-840-1242,
Stephen Sautner,  718-220-3682,

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo - Open every day of the year.  General Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $7 for children 3 to 12, and free for children younger than 3. Total Experience Admission is $18.00 for adults, $15.00 for senior citizens, and $13.00 for children 3 to 12.  4-D theater admission is $4.00 for members and $7.00 for non-members. Zoo hours are 10am to 5:30 pm, April through October, and 10am – 4:30pm daily, November through April. Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. The zoo is located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. For further information, please call 212-439-6500 or visit

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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