Nashville Zoo is excited to announce the birth of two male Nigerian dwarf goats born on July 5. At their July 6 neonatal exam, the darker one weighed around 5 pounds and the lighter one weighed around 5.5 pounds. The kids were born to Pekka (dad) and Kimber (mom) and can be seen at the Zoo's Historic Farm for the next several months.
"Keepers were doing checks throughout the day and found the two little boys cleaned up and already nursing at about 4:30 pm," said Lead Contact Keeper Megan Cohn. "Kimber has strong maternal instincts and is taking great care of the kids."
Pekka, the new father to the kids, was named earlier this year in honor of recently retired Nashville Predators' goalie Pekka Rinne. This is Pekka and Kimber's first babies together since being matched in late February. Including the babies, Nashville Zoo now has 14 Nigerian dwarf goats in their care
Nigerian dwarf goats (Capra capra hircus) originated from Africa and in the past 100 years have developed into the domestic breed it is today. Although this breed is not endangered, they are considered rare according to The Livestock Conservancy, an organization that tracks the genetics of domestic heritage breeds. This breed's population has significantly increased in recent years, registering nearly 7,000 purebred animals in 2002 and an additional 5,900 in 2011. The birth of rare farm animals like the Nigerian dwarf goat is significant because it represents a successful future for the diversity of agriculture.
To learn more about heritage breeds and Nigerian dwarf goats, visit www.nashvillezoo.org.