Antelope

Doubling-Up on Cuteness at The Maryland Zoo

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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore released news of two of its newest babies: a male Lesser Kudu calf (born June 18th) and a male Sitatunga calf (born June 25th).

The Kudu calf was born to six-year-old Lemon and sired by five-year-old Ritter. He currently weighs almost 19 pounds and has been named Jalopy.

The Sitatunga calf, named Chopper, weighed 13.1 pounds at his first health check. His mother is six-year-old Lela, and the father is eight-year-old Lou.

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4_Kudu Lemon & Jalopy DSC_9702Photo Credits: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

“The calves are being well cared for by their mothers inside their barns,” noted Margaret Inness, assistant general curator at the Zoo. “We like to give them time and space to bond during their early days and keep them as relaxed as possible for the health and wellbeing of all.”

Both calves now have limited access to the outdoor areas for a few weeks as they become acclimated to the yards and zoo visitors.

The Lesser Kudu calf had a few complications at birth, including a heart murmur discovered by veterinarians during his first health check. “This little guy had a bit of a rough start, but he’s nursing well and gaining weight as he should,” continued Innes. “Lemon is taking great care of him and we are pleased with his progress so far.”

Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis australis) are one of eight species of African Spiral-horned Antelope. Male Lesser Kudu horns can grow to be 72 inches long, with 2 ½ twists. In the wild, they live in dry, densely thicketed scrub and woodlands of northern east Africa. Interestingly, they rarely drink water, apparently getting enough liquid from the plants that they eat.

At The Maryland Zoo, the Lesser Kudu herd of five can be found in the African Watering Hole exhibit, along with Addra Gazelle and Saddle-billed Storks.

The Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They live in semi-aquatic swamps, marshes and flood plains. Outside of protected areas, Sitatunga are vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss, as people drain and develop swampland. Currently, however, Sitatunga are not classified as threatened or endangered.

The Maryland Zoo’s Sitatunga herd is made up of ten animals, including the new calf, and can be found in two exhibit spaces along the boardwalk in the African Journey section of the Zoo.

Both of the calves’ births are the result of a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for each species, coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring health of the individual animal, as well as the long-term survival of the species population to help save animals from extinction.

More great pics, below the fold!

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How To Feed a Baby Blesbok

2 El equipo técnico de BIOPARC Valencia alimentando con biberón a una cría de blesbok recién nacida - verano 2016 (2)
When a baby Blesbok born this summer at Spain's Bioparc Valencia wasn't able to get enough milk from its mother, zoo keepers stepped in to offer bottle-feedings to get the calf off to a strong start.

The little calf gulps down his bottles quickly and cooperates well at feeding time.

Cría de blesbok recién nacida recibiendo los cuidados del equipo técnico de BIOPARC Valencia - verano 2016
Cuidador de BIOPARC Valencia alimentando con biberón a una cría de blesbok recién nacida - verano 2016Photo Credit:  Bioparc Valencia
Blesbok are a type of antelope that live on the plains and grasslands of South Africa, preferably near water.  They live in herds, grazing on grasses and following the seasonal rains. 

Centuries ago, Blesbok herds stretched for miles across the grasslands, but they were hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s.  After hunting regulations were enacted, Blesbok numbers strongly rebounded and they are no longer threatened with extinction.

The name “Blesbok” is derived from the Afrikaans word for “blazed antelope,” a reference to the prominent white blaze on the faces of adults. 

See more photos of feeding time below.

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Impala Calves Leap Into Action

BIOPARC Valencia - Cría de impala saltando en la Sabana
The savannah at Spain’s BIOPARC Valencia is full of activity now that three Impala calves are running and playing with each other.

Born just a few weeks apart this spring, the Impala calves are part of the zoo’s small herd which mimics the social conditions these antelopes would experience in the wild.  Pregnant females separate themselves from the herd before giving birth. Calves are usually born at midday, and when the calves are a few weeks old, they rejoin the herd.  Young Impalas are grouped into nurseries, where they are watched over by adults.

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BIOPARC Valencia - Las crías de impala son el centro de atención para los habitantes de la Sabana (2)Photo Credit:  Bioparc Valencia

Impala are native to eastern and southern Africa, where they inhabit woodlands and the edges of savannahs, often near water sources.  Only the males have the distinctive lyre-shaped, spiral horns, which are used during disputes with other males over territorial boundaries and mating rights. Impalas are generally active during the day, feeding on vegetation.

Impalas are not currently under threat, although like all wild animals, their habitat is slowly being encroached upon by growing human activity.  Fortunately, about a quarter of all Impalas live within protected parks and reserves in Africa.

See more photos of the calves below.

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Three New Antelope Calves for the Maryland Zoo

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The Maryland Zoo, in Baltimore, recently welcomed a male Lesser Kudu on December 18, 2015…the first Lesser Kudu to be born at the Zoo!

The Zoo also welcomed two more members of the genus Tragelaphus, female Sitatunga calves born on December 7 and Christmas Day, 2015. The girls are the third and fourth Sitatunga calves born this season at the Zoo, joining males Riri and Carl (born in April and June respectively).

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4_Sitatunga Remy & calf Jess _JFB6820  Photo Credits: The Maryland Zoo / Images 1,2,5,6 : Lesser Kudu / Images 3 and 4 : Sitatunga

The first of the female Sitatunga calves was born to two-year-old Remy and has been named Jess by zookeepers. She currently weighs approximately 21 pounds. The second female calf, named Noel, weighed almost 15 pounds at her last health check. Her mother is two-year-old Mousse. Eight-year-old Lou sired both girls.

“Both calves are healthy and are being well cared for by their mothers, inside the warmth of the Africa Barn,” stated Carey Ricciardone, Mammal Collection and Conservation Manager at the Zoo. “As a first time dam, Mousse is very protective of Noel, but Remy is a much more relaxed mother.”

Both calves will remain behind the scenes in the barn until warm weather returns.

The male Lesser Kudu calf, Kaiser, was born to two-year-old Meringue and sired by five-year-old Ritter. “This little guy has long, spindly legs and huge ears right now; he’s adorable,” continued Ricciardone. “Meringue is taking great care of him and we are pleased with his progress so far.”

Kaiser stands about three-feet-tall and weighs in at 26 pounds. He will also remain off exhibit with his mother until spring.

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Yellow-backed Duiker Born at Virginia Zoo

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There is more news to report from the Virginia Zoo. A Yellow-backed Duiker was born there last week! The female calf was welcomed by mother, Dot, and father, Dash, and weighed 11.4 pounds at birth.

Dot arrived at the Virginia Zoo in early 2013 (via the Houston Zoo) and recently turned 5 years old. Dash is her younger-man at 2 years old, and he came from the Metro Richmond Zoo in 2014.

So far, Zoo staff have observed Dot nursing, cleaning and caring for her baby… all evidence she’s doing a great job. The family is currently being kept indoors, which gives them time to establish the needed familial bonds; and it allows the baby to stay warm in these cold winter days.

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3_Virginia-Zoo-Baby-Diker-1Photos and Videos Courtesy: The Virginia Zoo

 

 

The Yellow-backed Duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor) is a forest dwelling antelope found mainly in Central and Western Africa.

At maturity, they weigh a max of about 60-80 kg (132-176 lbs.). They feed selectively on plants, but their main diet is fruits.

Yellow-backed Duikers are the largest of all the duikers (primitive antelope which diverged early in bovid history). Both males and females have short cylindrical horns, which are ribbed at the base, and reddish-brown hair sits between the horns.

The species is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with a total population estimated at more than 150,000. According to the IUCN: “In much of its range, especially outside protected areas, it has been reduced to low numbers or eliminated by forest destruction, and encroachment of human settlements, coupled with uncontrolled hunting for bushmeat. The species was formerly subject to strict taboos that once protected it in some parts of its range, and it is still considered a non-preferred game species in some areas; however, many of these taboos have broken down.”


Rare Antelope Calf Born at Taronga Zoo

Bongo Calf (8)Taronga Zoo is celebrating the arrival of an Eastern Bongo calf, one of the rarest antelope species in the world.

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Bongo Calf (12)Photo Credits: Taronga Zoo

Born in the early hours on February 8th, the calf has had time to bond with its mother, off display, before coming out onto exhibit for the first time.

Keepers are yet to determine the sex of the calf, which is the third born to mother, ‘Djembe’, and father, ‘Ekundu’.

“Djembe is a fantastic, protective mother and cleaned the calf as soon as it was born. The calf has already learnt to follow its mother around and was very curious and energetic when exploring its exhibit for the first time,” said Ungulate Keeper, Tracy Roberts.

Tracy said the new calf was an important addition to the Australasian breeding program, helping to save the critically endangered species from extinction.

“Every birth of a healthy calf is important, with fewer than 100 of these gentle animals left in the wild. Sadly Eastern Bongo numbers have collapsed due to poaching, disease and destruction of their native habitat in Kenya’s highlands,” she said.

Taronga is also helping to protect Bongos in the wild through its support of the Bongo Surveillance Project in the highlands of central Kenya. The project monitors herds and individual Bongo movements using visual signs, camera traps and GPS equipment and also combats poaching activities by removing illegal traps and snares.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Nyala Calf Gets Her Shots at Zoo Miami

Nyala Baby B“This won’t hurt a bit!”  That's what the veterinarian might have said to Zoo Miami’s week-old Nyala calf on vaccination day.  The female calf, born on February 5, endured her shots and was proclaimed in good health after her neonatal exam.  

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Miami

The newborn Nyala weighed about 13 pounds and has a lot of growing to do.  These antelope, which are native to southern Africa, weigh between 120-300 pounds as adults.  Males are larger than females and sport spiral-shaped horns, which are used in ritual fights for dominance during mating season. 

Nyala populations in Africa are relatively stable, though habitat loss and competition with domestic cattle pose some threat.  These antelope prefer woodlands and dense thickets that offer cover from predators like Lions and Leopards.  About 80% of Nyalas live in protected areas and parks, but mature male Nyalas are sought as game trophies.    


This Blue Duiker Baby Has a Red Rudolph Nose!

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It's actually just the lighting in the photograph making her nose shine so bright. A tiny female Blue Duiker calf was born Dec. 8 at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The calf weighs 1lb and stands 5 inches tall at her withers. Duikers are among the smallest of Antelope species and generally weigh only 20 to 26 pounds when fully grown.

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Photo credit: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Duikers are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa in wetlands, rainforests and timber-heavy regions. Although they browse on grass, leaves, shrubs and trees, Duikers are classified as frugivores because the main component of their diet is fruit. They have also been observed eating carrion and insects, which isn't common among most Antelope but provides protein to their diet.


Two Nyala calves at Newquay Zoo for the 2nd year in a row!

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Last year staff and visitors at the United Kingdon’s Newquay Zoo celebrated the birth of two Nyala antelope, the first time ever the species was successfully bred at the Zoo. The zoo has done it again, with two more Nyalas born this summer.

Zoo Director Stewart Muir said, ‘‘I am thrilled at the success we are having with this species at Newquay. It is really important that we breed this species in captivity, as they disappeared from much of their range due to habitat destruction through farming and over-grazing by cattle. The species has managed to bounce back thanks to effective protections, re-introduction to certain areas and the contribution of zoos like Newquay to organised breeding programmes.’’

Mother Nyalas typically hide their newborn calves in thickets to protect them from predators, visiting them only to nurse and clean the calves. Although the species is not considered to be endangered, their numbers in the wild are decreasing in their home range of southeastern Africa.

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Photo credits:  Newquay Zoo

 

 

 

 


Meet Blossom the Blesbok Calf, Born at Belfast Zoo

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The flowers at Belfast Zoological Gardens are not the only things ‘blossoming’ this spring, as keepers are celebrating the birth of Blossom, the Blesbok calf. Its father, Basel, arrived in Belfast in 2009 from Africa Alive in Suffolk and was soon joined by mother, Daphne. The pair’s relationship has since ‘blossomed’ and they welcomed their first calf on March 5. 

Blesbok are a species of antelope that are indigenous to the open grasslands of South Africa. This species was first discovered by settlers in the 17th century and their numbers were said to be so huge that they filled the horizon. However, blesbok were hunted for their skin and for meat and by the 19th century they were on the verge of extinction. Protective measures have since been put in place and the population has sufficiently increased to the point that the species has been removed from the endangered list.

Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, said, “The zoo team are all delighted to be playing an active role in the conservation of this beautiful species which has been brought back from the brink of extinction by conservation efforts.  We only became home to blesbok in 2009 and this is the first time that a blesbok has been bred in Ireland.  Let’s hope there will be many more in the future! ”

Mom follows

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Photo Credcit: Belfast Zoo