Wild Encounters: Goats

Wild Encounters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – NewsChannel 6’s Brandon Dawson takes us to River Banks Zoo to get a closer look at the goats they have on exhibit.

Alright, we are back here at Riverbanks Zoo with Kaitlyn and you have 31 goats here at Riverbanks Zoo. Let’s talk about it.

Kaitlyn Pleau / Farm Keeper: “We do. We have the fortunate opportunity to take care of 31 goats here at Riverbanks. They are very unique. We don’t just have 31 goats…we have 31 individuals. They all have their names. We have three different breeds of goats inside of our contact yard and we constantly rotate them. The smallest ones are called Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Our all white goats with the floppy ears, those are called Saanen, and then the ones that appear to not have ears are La Mancha Goats, and we have our one Nubian Goat. We have four breeds of goats in total.”

Now, you say that all the goats have names. Would you say you have all of the names memorized?

Kaitlyn: “I actually do. I’m not going to sit here and act like it did not take a while, because we do have a few of the Nigerian Goats look very similar and all the Saanens are all white, so they look very similar, but each individual goat has such a unique personality and they all have small differences, so it makes them easy to recognize…just like people.”

What is the experience when people come here to Riverbanks Zoo?

Kaitlyn: “We are constantly rotating them through our interactive yard. So, you can go and experience our chickens and our ducks or tractor and then you can actually go in with the goats. During normal times, we do have brushes available. So, you guys can help a keeper out and brush our goats and get all of their nice undercoats out when it’s transitioning to those warmer months; but you can sit in with those goats, pet on them, love on them, and provide them all the attention they deserve.”

What’s a goat’s diet like?

Kaitlyn: “Out goats are very much hay feeders. They eat lots of grasses. Goats are used all over the world in unconventional locations to have live stock because they are such a hearty diet. Although they say goats will eat anything, they do just try to chew on anything; but goats can be very particular about what they eat. So, here at the zoo, we not only provide them with their hay, but we’ll also provide them with special plants that are edible for goats.”

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