An adorable lamb was born at the Central Park Zoo as Hurricane Irene barreled up the East Coast toward New York City.
Born in a stable as the city braced for the storm, she has been named Irene Hope.
As Wildlife Conservation Society curators and staff readied the zoo for the storm Saturday morning, the lamb was found cuddled next to her mother in the Tish Children’s Zoo.
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 Sunday, Susan Cardillo, an assistant curator for Central Park Zoo, 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.
Visitors can see her at the exhibit starting today.
"On a day of great uncertainty for New York City, the lamb brought smiles and hope to all of us at the zoo," said Cardillo. "We had to name her Irene Hope. She was a big surprise. It is rare to see a lamb born in late August."