- Prairie Dog
- Mediterranean Miniature Donkey
- Caspian Horse
- Nigerian Dwarf Goat
- Harlequin Sheep
Prairie DogPrairie dogs are small rodents that inhabit American prairies in underground tunnels. These burrows are extensive and complex, featuring chambers with designated functions such as nurseries and sleeping quarters.
Mediterranean Miniature DonkeyThe Mediterranean miniature donkey is a docile, intelligent breed of donkey that can grow to be up to 36 inches tall at the shoulder. These donkeys make great pets as they are affectionate and easily trained.
The Memphis Zoo is home to two Caspian horses: 1 male named “Thunder” who is 23 years old and 1 female named “Hisan” who is 30 years old. The Caspian horse breed height can be between 9 to 11.2 hands tall or 36-46 inches. Even for it is small size Caspian are considered horses and not ponies due to their similar conformation, gaits, and personalities. The Caspian horse is considered one of the oldest breeds of horses, descending from Mesopotamian equines from the 7th century A.D. The Caspian horse was rediscovered in 1965 by Louise Firouz in northern Iran near the Caspian Sea, thus sparking the idea for its name. Caspian’s are one of the rarest horse breeds, making it a heritage breed and considered an endangered species.
Nigerian Dwarf Goat
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is an American breed of dwarf goat. Like the Pygmy Goat, it derives from the West African Dwarf group of breeds of West Africa. These little goats were first brought over to the United States in the 1950s. These little goats were primarily used as food and were brought over on ships as a meat source for the large cats that were being delivered to local Zoos. Some of the goats arrived unharmed and ended up staying at the Zoos as an added attraction. After a few years there were some distinct differences developing within the herd. Some stayed stocky much like the meats goats they were used for, and others were developing more dairy characteristics. The goats showing the most dairy character were used by a handful of dedicated breeders to develop a new breed: The Pygmy Goat.
These goats are known for their even tempers and gentle, playful personalities. Due to these qualities and their small size, they have made a name for themselves as a great family pet. They are hardy animals that thrive in almost any climate and due to their size, require less space to graze and play than full-size dairy goats. They are also very adaptable, able to live comfortably with other livestock such as cattle, horses, llamas, and donkeys.