For the first time in fifteen years, there are baby Goats at the Oakland Zoo. Mom Annie gave birth to four healthy babies, or kids -- two males and two females, all weighing between 3-4 pounds (1.3-1.8 kg) at birth. This is the first time the Oakland Zoo has had kids in about fifteen years, so it ‘s very special.
The gestation period of a doe is approximately 150 days long. Twins are the most common and quadruplets are much less common. The kids will nurse for a few months, but the weaning process is slow. They will likely be eating some solid foods in addition to nursing for quite some time. A goat's digestive system will break down just about any organic substance, but their diet consists of mostly plant-based materials.
Annie was dropped off at the Oakland Zoo last October in need of a home. Zoo staff agreed to take her in as a rescue. The Oakland Zoo does not breed their Goats. "Like many companion animals, there are plenty of Goats out there that need good homes. Annie was one such Goat, but she was already pregnant when she arrived, so this is a rare opportunity for us to enjoy kids!" explained Zoological Manager Margaret Rousser. "Annie has been a fantastic mom so far and we are very proud of her."
Watch below as the kids wag their tails and practice their natural climbing skills:
Read more after the jump:
Maggie, one of the female kids, was born with minor problems in the tendons of her hind leg. This prevented her from being able to stand on her own at first, but veterinary staff took proper action and splinted this leg which has allowed Maggie to stand, walk, and keep up with her siblings. She no longer needs her splint, so it was removed yesterday and she is having no trouble keeping up with her sibling! It is expected that the tendons will continue to strengthen as Maggie gets older.
Annie and her kids will be separated from the rest of the herd for an undetermined amount of time to allow them to bond and to give young Maggie's leg time to fully recover before being introduced to the herd.