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Meet the Nigerian dwarf goat born at Franklin Park Zoo

Vader is the newest kid on the block.
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    Meet Vader, the Nigerian dwarf goat born at Franklin Park Zoo. Photo: Provided by Franklin Park Zoo

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    Dr. Alex Becket (right), Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian, examines the goat kid. Photo: Provided by Franklin Park Zoo

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    Dr. Alex Becket (right), Zoo New England Associate Veterinarian, examines the goat kid. Photo: Provided by Franklin Park Zoo

There’s a new kid exploring the Franklin Park Zoo: A baby Nigerian dwarf goat named Vader.

The zoo announced the birth of Vader on Friday, June 9, though the kid was born on May 22.

A Nigerian dwarf goat named Leila gave birth to twins, but sadly one of the newborns didn’t survive. Vader, the surviving twin, had a tough start to life, the zoo said, but has been doing better now.

Shortly after his birth, Vader was transferred to the Zoo Hospital at Franklin Park Zoo because he was weak and unable to nurse. There, staff bottle-fed him and provided “around-the-clock care.”

Vader also had to receive a plasma transfusion to help improve his immune system. Veterinarians took blood from mom Leila.

Dr. Alex Becket, associate veterinarian in Zoo New England’s Department of Animal Health and Conservation Medicine, thanked the “incredibly skilled veterinary technician staff” for a successful plasma transfusion.

“The goat kid has since been doing well,” he said. “As with any new baby, we are continuing to closely monitor Vader and we have been encouraged by his progress.”

You can see Vader at his nursery inside the Brooder Barn. There, he’s being hand-reared by zookeepers, a process that requires Vader to receive four bottles a day, or about 20 percent of his body weight.

Vader weighed about 2.6 pounds when he was born and is currently up to 3.75 pounds.

After two or three months, once he is weaned off of the bottles and able to eat grain, hay and grass, he’ll join the other Nigerian dwarf goats, including Leila and half-sibling Chewbacca

 

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