The Living Desert has welcomed three addax calves and a slender-horned gazelle calf, all endangered species born within the last two months at the zoo.
The addax, a desert antelope, is a critically endangered species, according to Living Desert senior animal care manager Wendy Enright. Fewer than 50 addax are estimated in the wild, according to the Living Desert.
The zoo’s male addax, Mozzarella, sired all three calves, which were born Sept. 20, Oct. 4, and Oct. 23.
“The birth of these three addax are such an important addition to the managed population of the species,” Enright said. “As one of the most critically endangered species in the world, each birth is an important step in working to help save these animals from extinction.”
The female slender-horned gazelle calf was born Oct. 8, bringing the zoo’s total herd to six. The gazelles, which are native to Africa’s Sahara Desert, are also endangered.
“The birth of this female slender-horned gazelle calf is very important to the future of the species,” said Brigid Randle, the zoo’s animal registrar and slender-horned gazelle International Studbook Keeper and Species Survival Plan coordinator.
“With about 80 animals in the managed population and only a few hundred left in the wild, this birth has a huge impact on the species as a whole,” she said.
Zoo officials say the calves will be named later this month.
“It’s always exciting when new life is born here, and having four births within four weeks of each other was especially thrilling,” Living Desert President and CEO Allen Monroe said. “These amazing animals are sure to fascinate our visitors with their unique traits and personalities.”
— City News Service