Addax

Addax Calf Adds a Boost to Declining Species

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.

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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.


Antlered Beasts in Record Numbers!

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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.

Addax-003 Addax babies huddle up behind Mom (above).

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Mhorr-gazelle-003cropA baby Mhorr Gazelle pauses during a drink.

More [PHOTOS] below the fold...

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Meal Time and Play Time for a Little Addax

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.