Over a 10-week period, from November 20, 2018, through January 30, 2019, eleven calves from six different ungulate species were born at the Saint Louis Zoo!
The new calves— three Speke’s Gazelles, two Addaxes, a Soemmerring’s Gazelle, a Grevy’s Zebra, two Lesser Kudus and two Lowland Nyalas — are healthy and have been bonding with their mothers behind the scenes at Red Rocks.
New zebra foal, Nova, and her mom can be seen in their habitat, weather permitting.
Photo Credits: Saint Louis Zoo /Speke’s Gazelle Calves (Images 1-3), Addax Calves (4-5), Soemmerring’s Gazelle (6), Grevy’s Zebra foal (7), Lesser Kudu calves (8-9), Lowland Nyala calves (10-11)
These important births were recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans (SSP), which are responsible for maintaining genetically healthy populations of these ungulate species in North American zoos.
Five of these SSPs are coordinated by Zoo staff. The Saint Louis Zoo’s WildCare Institute Center for Conservation in the Horn of Africa and Saharan Wildlife Recovery Center supports conservation of unique species in Africa.
Twin Addax calves were born July 5, at Rolling Hills Zoo, in Salina, Kansas. The twins, male and female, were born to mom, Aamira.
Photo Credits: Mason Swenson/ Salina Journal
This was Aamira’s first experience with a multiple birth. Peter Burvenich, the zoo’s General Curator, said twin births are extremely rare for the Addax, accounting for only 1 of every 2,500 births.
The Addax, also known as the “screwhorn antelope”, is native to the Sahara desert. As suggested by its name, it has long twisted horns, typically 22 to 31 inches (55 to 80 cm) in females and 28 to 33 inches (70 to 85 cm) in males.
They are sexually dimorphic, as the females are smaller than the males. The color of the coat depends on the season, greyish-brown in winter and sandy-white in summer.
They mainly eat grasses and leaves of any available shrub, herb or bush. They are also well adapted to desert habitat and can live without water for long periods of time. The Addax form herds of five to 20 and are led by the oldest female of the group.
A delicate and rare Addax
calf was born in early February at Australia’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Named Yasna, which translates to ‘white rose’
in an African language, this little female calf is the third born at the zoo in
the last 12 months. Yasna is an
important addition to the captive Addax population because fewer than 500 of
these antelope remain in Africa’s Sahara Desert region.
Yasna has spent her first few
weeks of life in hiding, which is exactly what this species would do in the
wild. She is now becoming bolder and
mingling with the zoo's herd.
Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo
Addax are distinguished by
their 30-inch-long (80 cm) spiral horns, which are present on both males and
females. To escape the extreme heat of
the desert, Addax find bits of shade and dig into the sand where they rest until
sundown. These nocturnal antelope feed
on grasses and the leaves of certain shrubs.
Because Addax are
slow-moving, they are easy targets for hunters who prize Addax meat and hides,
which are made into leather goods. With
the state of the wild Addax population so precarious, zoo breeding programs are
vital to preserving the genetic diversity of this rare species.
Desert Antelopes, a highly threatened and beautiful group of animals, are a key part of Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort’s (AWPR) conservation work. The year 2010 has seen a bumper harvest of young animals born in the zoo and a number of conservation research initiatives are moving ahead. 2010 marked one of AWPR’s best recorded year for Antelope births, with a record number of young Antelope raised, including 16 Scimitar-horned Oryx, 27 Arabian Oryx, ten Beisa Oryx, four Addax, three Chad Dama Gazelles, six Mhorr Dama Gazelles and six Speke’s Gazelles.
The Addax is a critically endangered antelope native to the Western Sahara. With only an estimated 200-300 Addax left in the wild, every birth in captivity helps ensure the survival, and potential re-population, of this species. This little boy was born June 17th at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo. Lots of happy antelope tail-wagging in this video.
Definitely watch past the first minute to see some wobbly bounding.
Learn more about baby "Chad" at the Chicago Zoological Society's website.
Addax, also known as screwhorn antelope, are critically endangered in their native home of the Sahara Desert. Luckily for the rare addax, they adapt well to captivity and breed fairly easily. Luckily for us, they are adorable!
Baby Fola and Saffiya were born in April of 2008 at the Louisville Zoo.