Our newest goat kids at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium were introduced for the first time to guests last Thursday. Siblings Marion and Juniper went for a walk around the zoo with their keepers.
Now three months old, born on August 12, the brother and sister weigh about 20 pounds each.
“This is their first time walking around the zoo while visitors are here, so it’s very exciting for both them and all of us” said Senior Staff Biologist Jennifer Donovan as she walked with Juniper, the male.
Guests stopped and watched as the two kids trotted by, curious about everyone they passed.
Marion and Juniper weren’t the only curious animals alert to what was going on around them. As the kids walked by Red Wolf Woods, the red wolves ran toward the fence, eyeing them.
Unfazed, the kids kept on their way. As they came across Penguin Point, Juniper was surprised by one of the birds splashing and took a jump closer to Donovan.
“Let’s walk past the penguins again to desensitize Juniper,” said Donovan.
On the second try, Juniper didn’t seem to mind them at all.
VISITING OUR NEW GOAT KIDS
Marion and Juniper won’t be mingling with our current herd in guest areas anytime soon. Starting in spring 2020, they will join the others and live in the Kids’ Zone Area, connecting with guests and teaching them to respect and care for animals. Once there, you can feed them pellets right out of your hand! Until then, you can catch them occasionally joining their keepers for stimulating walks around the zoo with their keepers.
“They will be interacting with guests often, so it’s important for them to get out now and get used to all of the animals and people they will be around!,” said Donovan.
The kids were seen engaging in their natural behaviors around the zoo: jumping on benches, picnic tables, walking in circles and walking up and down stairs.
They are also learning to recognize and respond to their names. The keepers repeat the kids’ names on their walks many times, giving them treats along the way.
The kids were born on a local farm and graciously donated to the zoo. Some of the goats at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium have lived into their mid-teens and we hope these two can follow in those hoof prints!
ABOUT KIDS’ ZONE
Swing like a lemur. Climb like a meerkat. Spread out in a web or hop like a wallaby. At Kids’ Zone you’ll find a playground where the humans get to play like the animals just nearby. Bring your littl’uns to get up close to ours – and don’t forget to feed the goats!