Understanding Species Diversity Through Domestic Goats
Many domestic goat breeds are acutely threatened with extinction – as is the bezoar goat, the original ancestor of all domestic goats. How did so many diverse breeds of goat - so varied in appearance and behavior - evolve from the wild form? To answer that question, the Academy developed
an educational concept in the Höllohe Zoo.
The zoo manager, Stefan Jahreiß, describes visitor feedback to the project:
“The goat project in the Höllohe Zoo started in 2019 and is a special attraction for young and old. The goat enclosure has always been popular with visitors, but the current presence of 13 different breeds has given a new boost to its appeal. People are taking more time to observe the animals’ behaviour. With the aid of new information panels, donated by the Academy for the Protection of Zoo Animals and Wildlife, as well as the photographic portraits of individual male goats, visitors can playfully learn more about these charismatic animals. All the billy goats have interesting names which reflect their character or appearance. Children love to discover their favorite goats in the enclosure and to call out their names – for example, Elvis, Rambo, or Jackson - and a searching game often develops. The first to identify the chosen goat in the pasture has won. The breed
diversity surprises and fascinates visitors and makes them eager to learn more about animal husbandry and the protection of rare and endangered domestic animal breeds.
The Höllohe Zoo has taken a huge leap in modern animal husbandry with the support of the Academy for the Protection of Zoo Animals and Wildlife. In times in which many people are losing the connection to nature, it is increasingly important to create attractive educational programmes.”