What's the only thing better than a television studio full of animal guests? When the animals guests are MINIATURE, that's what! We're celebrating the little things on our show today, so David Mizejewski, a naturalist from the National Wildlife Federation, stopped by with three adorable mini animals. Check them out in the video above and learn more about these cuties below.
This is Buck, a miniature horse. Mini horses like Buck don't get any taller than 38 inches, which is only a little over 3 feet. The smallest one on record was just 17.5 inches! Mini horses originated in Europe in the 1600s, when France's King Louis XIV bred them as part of his menagerie. They were also bred as workhorses for narrow mines in both England and America, but nowadays they're usually pets, guide animals or therapy animals. If you're going to have a mini horse as a pet, just make sure it has enough room and the appropriate setup to stay happy and healthy.
"These guys can live to be about 30 years old, much longer than a dog," David says. And as he points out, "If you're going to train an animal to be a therapy animal for someone for life, the longer they live, the better."
Horses are also very intelligent and can be trained to be excellent companion animals that are as smart as dogs in some cases, David says. Miniature horses have even found work as volunteers in the LA County Sheriff's Department, where their job is to visit schools and libraries with officers to make law enforcement less scary to kids.
Tiny Wild Deer (Baby Muntjac Deer)
This is a baby Muntjac deer, a species of deer that lives in India and across Southern Asia. She is only a few months old. "She'll get a little bit bigger, but they only get to be maybe about two feet tall and only about 25 to maybe 50 pounds at fully grown," David says.
Male muntjac deer actually grow big canine fangs, which they use to catch and eat other animals — unlike most species of deer that only eat plants. Muntjac deer do eat a lot of plant material, but the jungle-dwellers supplement that with a little protein on the side, David says. They're nocturnal and have huge eyes and a great sense of smell, which allow them to find what they need in the dark. They're usually pretty shy, and they tend to live in thick woods away from other animals.
Miniature goats are the miniature version of normal goats, which Rach has a bit of a soft spot for! (Her foundation donates to a sanctuary for goats with special needs.)
Mini goats grow to be 20 inches tall and weigh between 24 and 40 pounds for the doe and 60 pounds for the buck. They act a lot like dogs. They love humans and will get excited when you come near them, which makes them incredible companion animals. These little guys and gals are the kinds of goats used in goat yoga.
So small, and yet, SO. CUTE. 😍