(269) 979-1351 - info@binderparkzoo.org

AFRICAN PYGMY GOAT

AFRICAN PYGMY GOATCapra hircus

Conservation Status: Low Risk / Least Concern

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CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Artiodactyla

FAMILY

Bovidae

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General Characteristics:

Color: 

From white to black or tan and any combinations

Size:

16-23 inches at the shoulders  

Weight:

About 55 lbs.

Average Lifespan: 

8-12 years

Captive Lifespan:

20 years

Distribution:

Domesticated worldwide, this breed originated in West Africa   

Habitat

Domesticated goats have been raised in almost all habitats. Goats do require grass for grazing, but can thrive in areas of thin growth that would not support other grazers such as sheep or cows.

Reproduction:

Mating: 

Year Round

Gestation/Incubation:

5 months

Litter/Clutch Size:

Usually 1 or 2, 3 or 4 possible

Mature: 

Males in 8-10 weeks, Females in three months

Diet:

Grasses, twigs, leaves , any form of plant matter

Behavior:

A diurnal social herd dweller.  A typical herd will be composed of females and their young.  Males will form bachelor herds.

Teaching Facts:

1. Goats are used for milk (can produce up to 4 lbs. of milk a day), wool, and meat in many parts of the world.

2. Originally from Africa, this breed was introduced to other areas by sailors who found they were easily transported and a ready source of milk and meat on long ship voyages.  

3. Goats are ruminants and regurgitate food and chew it a second time to digest it. 

4. Domesticated because it is an easy animal to raise, especially in areas where sheep and cattle cannot find enough to eat.

5. Goats are especially well adapted for land that is steep and void of large amounts of vegetation.

6. Both sexes have horns, which curve up and back.  Males use their horns for courtship displays and battles.

7. First brought to the US in the 1950’s.

 

Meet our goats

All of our 13 goats came from a farm and they are all related in some way. Our goats are of African Pygmy stock, though some have been crossbred. All of the goats were born in 2011 except Neville, Dobby, and Tonks, who were born in 2013.  All of the goats at Binder Park Zoo have ear tags - these tags help us identify each of the goats. If the tag is on the left ear, it is a female and if it’s on the right, then it is a male.  Some of our goats’ favorite things include: sunbathing, cuddling with each other, playing with toys made by their keepers, getting petting zoo food and getting groomed by guests! Their least favorite things are rainy or slow days at the zoo, and being away from their herd, even if just for a little while!

Hermione:

Hermione is one of our smaller goats and is mostly brown. She has a black line down her spine, black legs, and bold black lines down her face. She loves human interaction and enjoys being brushed. Hermione would rather spend time with her keepers or the public except for her best friend Harry, who she loves to cuddle up with. 

Luna:

Luna is the smallest goat here at Binder Park Zoo. She is all black and is the only female black goat. She enjoys interacting with the public and snuggling up to her brother, Remus.  While Luna loves to be brushed or petted by the guests,  she is typically shy around her keepers. 

Remus:

Remus is mostly black with a white stripe down both of his back legs, a white tail, and one horn that curves outward. Remus is one of our most curious goats and if anything is left within reach of him, he will undoubtedly check it out. He is friendly with most of the other goats as well as humans, and he loves to scratch his head on his keepers’ radio antennas.

Hagrid:

Hagrid is our largest goat, which is because he is half Nubian. He is dark brown and has black, white, and tan markings on his face. He also has two scurs, which are incompletely-developed horn growths. Hagrid loves the petting zoo food that visitors can feed to the goats, and can often be found at the front of the fence near the dispensers. When he isn’t eating, he enjoys hanging out with his best friend, Severus.

Severus:

Severus is the largest black goat. His curved left horn and right scur are other characteristics that make him easy to identify. Severus loves people, and will often approach them in search of attention. He loves to be groomed and is one of the friendliest of our goats.

The Weasley’s

The Weasley’s all have a light tan fur with some white and black throughout. In Harry Potter, Fred and George are twins, and our goats Fred and George look very much alike! Both have little white beards, but Fred has long hair on his back legs. Some even say that “Fred wears pants” and everyone loves to braid his long hair! Ron is the largest Weasley and is the only one with a horn. Of all the goats, Ron loves petting zoo food the most. He is usually the first to run over to the fence when guests buy the feed. Although he sometimes bullies the other goats, he is very friendly towards people and loves human attention. Ginny is one of the most photogenic goats and is the largest female goat. Guests wonder if she is pregnant, although she is not. Ginny has one of the most distinct calls, and all her keepers can recognize when she bleats.

Dobby:

Dobby has light fur with a little brown, black, and white throughout. Dobby and Ginny can almost always be found eating hay together or cuddling, and they will even stick up for one another if one of the other goats is picking on them! Dobby loves to chew on just about anything, including her keeper’s boots and pants, even though she knows she is not supposed to.

Harry:

Harry is all black with a white nose, ears, and tail, and is one of our smartest goats. He loves to let the keepers train him in the “goat obstacle course.” He can walk across the teeter totter as it rocks back and forth, run through tunnels, and hop onto large wooden spindles! When he completes his obstacle course, he always gets rewarded with a little treat. Harry recognizes when his favorite people enter the Miller Children Zoo and will wait by the fence to get some head scratches or petting zoo food from them.

Neville:

Neville is one of the smaller black goats and is one of the few goats who enjoys training. He is very food motivated and will chew on anything he can get his mouth on. He is very friendly and loves getting scratches.

Tonks:

Tonks is light brown and one of the smallest goats. Although she is relatively short, she seems to like feeling tall and can often be found standing on the tree stump. She also loves running the obstacle course for positive reinforcement.