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Alaska Life

Musk ox mothers and newborns get acquainted in Palmer

  • Author: Bob Hallinen
  • Updated: May 4, 2018
  • Published May 4, 2018

Newborn musk ox calf Argon nuzzles his mother, Jade.  (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

Two calves joined the herd at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer this spring, bringing the total number of musk oxen there to 83.

Argon, a male, was born to Jade on April 26, and Cayenne gave birth to a female, Xenon, the next day.

Cayenne and her newborn calf, Xenon, and Jade and Argon enjoy the sunshine. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

The calves and mothers share an enclosure with Mabel, a female who was bred but did not conceive. It will take two to three years for the young to reach full size and about three years for their horns to reach full size.

(Bob Hallinen / ADN)

The musk ox on the farm are descendants of animals captured in northern Canada in the 1950s. The animals were brought to Vermont and later transferred to Alaska.

Argon with his mother, Jade. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Jade keeps an eye on Argon. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Xenon runs under the watchful eye of Cayenne. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

The farm will open its 2018 season on Mother's Day, May 13. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The farm is open to the public seven days a week through mid-September.

On Mother's Day, moms get in free and everyone else by donation. The visitor center and gift shop are in a historic Matanuska Colony barn where visitors can purchase garments woven from qiviut, the underfur that combed from the musk ox.

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