For the first time ever, Wallabies, alligators, Ravens and baby Dwarf Goats have joined other animals at the newly-renovated Brandywine Zoo.
They are adorable and eat everything, but the new kids, baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats, are the hands-on showstoppers at the zoo, which now boasts three kinds of goats. “Colby” and “Monty” are knee-high to adults, but just the right size for children to pet and snuggle. Their mother, “Brie,” keeps a watchful eye on her kids, but swoons when she is petted and kissed.
Two larger Nubian Goats, “Harry” and “Lloyd,” are about the size of Great Danes. But Zoo representatives say the Nubian Goats are easy going, vocal and love to sprawl out on their sides in the sunshine. Star Wars fans say the Nubians, with their long floppy ears, resemble the character Jar Jar Binks.
The Nubians and Nigerian Dwarf Goats are joined by long-time residents, African Pygmy goats, “Charleigh” and “Nike.”
New for 2019: refreshed, expanded petting area and adorable Wallabies
Visitors now can step into a much larger goat area to interact with the new zoo residents. As part of a larger facilities upgrade, the Brandywine Zoo eliminated the Otter pond and replaced it with an expanded, multi-tiered animal contact area for their growing community of goats.
Of the three Bennett’s Wallabies on loan this summer from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., two are female, and they brought their little babies (called joeys) along with them, and visitors can clearly see their heads sticking out of their moms’ pouches. The joeys feed directly from their moms within their pouches.
The Bennett’s Wallabies – smaller, furry, red-necked marsupials – will be in Wilmington through the fall. The adult Wallabies on loan to the Brandywine Zoo are named “Lulu,” “Mia” and “Jack.”
A Brandywine Zoo first: Alligators
Also visiting for the warmer seasons are four new female alligators, on exhibit as of this week. All are from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida, and the Zoo has constructed a new exhibit just for them. They will return to their Florida home sometime before the weather turns chilly in Wilmington.
TSD readers may recall that another two-foot-long female juvenile American alligator – “El Chompo” – was found in the February, 2019, raid of a Coatesville, Pennsylvania home and that the alligator was also bound for the Brandywine Zoo (article here).
Zoo officials say El Chompo – newly renamed “Cain” – will not on public exhibit, but rather will join hand-held program animals for presentations and teaching on site. One other smaller alligator from the St. Augustine Farm will also join Cain as part of the hands-on teaching display.
Two common Ravens have moved into the large aviary occupied by the American bald eagles. All of the birds in the exhibit are non-releasable because of health issues. Ravens resemble crows but are much larger. The Ravens, “Kanga” and “Dichali,” arrived from the National Zoo in Washington D.C. and will be permanent residents.
In addition to the aforementioned animals, the Brandywine Zoo, which offers daily programs and special events, is home to Andean condors, llamas, bobcat, swift fox, serval, capybara, golden lion tamarin, red pandas, porcupine, and many birds and reptiles.
Photo credit: Brandywine Zoo