Baby muskox dies four days after birth at Yukon Wildlife Preserve

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The first baby muskox born this season in the Yukon Wildlife Preserve passed away on April 12, four days after its birth.  (Yukon Wildlife Preserve Facebook - image credit)
The first baby muskox born this season in the Yukon Wildlife Preserve passed away on April 12, four days after its birth. (Yukon Wildlife Preserve Facebook - image credit)

A muskox calf was found dead at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve on April 12, just four days after being born.

The calf, which was born a week earlier than anticipated on April 8, was the first birth of this spring at the preserve.

Jake Paleczny, the executive director of the Yukon Wildlife Preserve (YWP), said nothing could've been done to prevent the sudden death.

The autopsy revealed there was an intestinal blockage in the small intestine.

Because of the calf's age and size, it "would have been very difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to effectively treat," said Paleczny.

"We want to be able to provide the best care for these animals, so it's tough when things don't go the way we hope they will," said Paleczny.

The YWP said they are expecting another five calves to be born this season between mid-July and mid-August.

"We've got our fingers crossed that it's going to be okay," said Paleczny. "That muskox that will be born in the coming weeks will be healthy and strong. And hopefully this is it for any kind of unfortunate outcome."

The YWP also expects to see baby bison and caribou this spring.

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