Early spring surprise at Walton

Walton zoo, baby goat
Peter Cookson-Dean, zoo ranger introducing Lotty to some of Walton’s half term visitors.
Published: Monday, 25th February 2019

A new addition to the African pygmy goat family has surprised rangers at Walton Hall and Garden children’s zoo.

On Tuesday 5 February a kid was born to mum Ellie who herself is only one year old. It is a rare occurrence for kids to be born to such a young mother and so early in spring but the Walton zoo rangers are thrilled with the new arrival.

The healthy nanny goat kid has been named Lotty after one of Walton’s most-loved residents, 20-year-old Shetland pony, Lotty, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

Peter Cookson-Dean, Walton zoo ranger, said: “Lotty has come as a complete surprise to us so early in the year and, even though mum is only young herself, she’s proving to be an excellent mother.

“We usually separate the nanny kids from the billy kids at around five months old when they join the older members of the herd of goats that have lived at the zoo for over 30 years. However, we think due to the exceptional summer we had last year, Ellie must have matured earlier than expected and became pregnant.

“We’re hoping Lotty will be on show to the public soon as the weather starts to warm up and we’re expecting more new arrivals in the spring.”

Children of all ages and school groups are welcome to come down and see all the animals, from new-born to long in the tooth, at the zoo.

There are a range of educational tours, for children of nursery age up to high school age. They can find out about animal senses and predators and prey and learn more about rabbits, goats, donkeys, alpacas, ferrets, chickens and more.

For more information see warrington.gov.uk/waltongardens. The children's zoo opens daily at 10.30am and closes at 5pm in the summer and 4pm in the winter. Entry is free of charge.

Animal feeding times are 2pm in the summer and 1pm in the winter.