Animal Diaries Archive
We're Not Mountain Goats!
24 February 2006"Oh look! That one's a mountain goat!"
We hear this quite a bit in Kids Zoo, and while much of the time it's said as a bit of a joke, every now and again there's a genuine misconception that we thought we'd clear up in this week's Animal Diary! The simple fact is: ALL goats LOVE to get up high. It doesn't matter how wild or domestic they are, what breed, what size, or how old they are... climbing up to the highest spot one can reach is one of the greatest joys of being a goat.
And while the wild counterparts of our Kids Zoo goats are very well known for their mountain-climbing habits, you'd only need to take one look at a photograph of these majestic, shaggy, white-coated animals to realise they're quite different to the domestic breeds we look after! The mountain goat is in fact an American species, and quite a separate animal from the goats of Asia and the Middle East that were developed into the domestic breeds we see today. They are thoroughly built for harsh, rugged, and often very cold habitats, with their long thick fur and strong splayed hooves, whereas most of our Kids Zoo goats originated from hotter, drier, and considerably 'flatter' landscapes.
So next time you see one of our domestic kids playing 'King of the Castle' on top of one of the highest barrels, you could say that it's a 'goat on a mountain'... but NOT a 'mountain goat'!