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Lilly and Violet the Nubian goats enjoy a birthday treat together.

Lilly and Violet the Nubian goats enjoy a birthday treat together.

We’ll be wishing our two Nubian goats, Lilly and Violet, well as they move to a home that better fits their needs. The duo will be moving this upcoming week.  

Lilly and Violet came to us as months-old 15-pound kids in 2018 and have grown to be over 135 pounds each. As we continue to make changes to better our animal residents’ welfare in the Barnyard, we’ve seen that Lilly and Violet’s size and energy don’t fit with this space.  

We hope our Barnyard will soon be home to a different breed of goats, Nigerian dwarf goats – we’re just waiting for our new kids to be born! This species should be a better fit for this space. 

Lilly and Violet will be moving together to a Zoo team member’s home that has fenced-in acreage.  

“Although we will miss them dearly, we know they are going to a great home,” said Zach Marchetti, curator of animals.  

Violet the goat enjoys a tasty birthday treat.

Violet the goat enjoys a tasty birthday treat.

With Violet’s birthday coming up on March 17 and Lilly’s on April 2, our animal care team had an impromptu birthday party for them before their impending move. The duo gobbled up small sweet potato mash cakes and vegetables before clambering up some of the yard’s platforms together.  

“I love how much they love each other,” said Em Waitt, one of Violet and Lilly’s keepers. “Even though they aren’t sisters, they came to the zoo together at a young age, so they are just like true sisters, and they still often cry for the other when they are not together.” 

Being goats, they are always looking for trouble, Em said, adding that since there’s two of them, it’s like double trouble every time!  

The smart goat gals are trained for voluntary hoof trims, which makes it a better experience for them and easier for their keepers.  

Lilly the goat gets a pet from one of her keepers, Em.

Lilly the goat gets a pet from one of her keepers, Em.

Lilly and Violet are not shy about letting keepers know what they want. Both offer their front feet when they want their keepers to scratch in between their toes for them.  

“That’s one of their favorite things and how many new keepers know they have been accepted, when they first offer you their foot to scratch, like it’s a privilege,” Em said.  

We’ll miss sassy Lilly’s visits to all the habitats during her walks to check out the other Zoo residents, and Violet’s look – almost like a smile – when just the right spot is hit during back scratches. 

Our Barnyard is still home to alpacas, chickens and an African spurred tortoise, and there are no plans to move any of these residents right now.  

While we wait for our new goat kids, we will be working on some surprise visits from our ambassador animals! Be sure to stop by the Barnyard to see who might be visiting.  

Lilly and Violet stand together in the Barnyard.

Lilly and Violet love being together.