Gazelle

Zoo Welcomes Baby Boom of Endangered Gazelles

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After a five-year hiatus, Cheetah Conservation Station keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo are celebrating a baby boom of critically endangered Dama Gazelles.

A male calf was born in an off-exhibit enclosure on August 30 to ten-year-old mother, Adara. The second calf, a female, was born during the night of September 16 to eight-year-old Fahima. A third and final calf, a male, was born September 18 to seven-year-old Zafirah. The Zoo’s three-year-old male, Edem, sired all three calves.

Edem arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in July 2016 from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP scientists determine which animals to breed by considering their genetic makeup, nutritional and social needs, temperament and overall health.

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3_zafirah_and_calf_2Photo Credits: Michelle Chatterton/Smithsonian's National Zoo (Image 1: female calf (L) born to Fahima; male calf (R) born to Zafirah); Gil Myers/Smithsonian's National Zoo (Image 2: male born to Adara / Image 3: Zafirah and her male calf)

Keepers have been closely monitoring the calves, who appear to be healthy and behaving normally. For the next several weeks, the calves will remain in a quiet, off-exhibit area where they can bond with their mothers and acclimate to the habitat. They will make their public debut in mid-to-late October, weather permitting.

For now, visitors to the Zoo can see proud father, Edem, at the Cheetah Conservation Station in the morning before 10 a.m. The Zoo will provide updates on the new calves via their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Native to Chad, Mali and Niger, Dama Gazelles (Nanger dama, formerly Gazella dama) are listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Less than 500 Dama Gazelles remain in the wild due to habitat loss from human and livestock expansion, hunting and drought. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) conducts veterinary and reproductive research in order to maintain Dama Gazelle populations.


Endangered Dama Gazelles Arrive with the Spring

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The entrance of spring has brought the births of many animals at BIOPARC Valencia, and among them is the Dama Gazelle.

In 2014, three females and a young male arrived at BIOPARC Valencia with the aim of creating a breeding group. The park recently welcomed the birth of two calves and expects the arrival of a third calf any day now. This was the "premiere" of the park’s male as a father, and the new calves offer hope for the survival of this beautiful species.

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3_Crías de gacela Mhorr en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - marzo 2017 (2)Photo Credits: BIOPARC Valencia

The Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama), also known as the Addra Gazelle or Mhorr Gazelle, is a species native to Africa in the Sahara desert and the Sahel.

This Gazelle has been classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. It has disappeared from most of its former range due to overhunting and habitat loss, and natural populations only remain in Chad, Mali, and Niger. Its habitat includes grassland, shrubland, semi-deserts, open savanna and mountain plateaus. Their diets includes grasses, leaves (especially Acacia leaves), shoots, and fruit.


Meet El Paso Zoo’s First Birth of New Year

10988333_10153065142952622_5379029355534954236_nThe first birth of 2015, at the El Paso Zoo, was a female Thomson's Gazelle. 

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10440938_10153065142967622_2258432596192051485_nPhoto Credits: El Paso Zoo

As with all gazelle and antelope births, at the El Paso Zoo, the babies are initially left to bond with their moms for several hours, or overnight, before brief initial examinations are conducted to make sure babies are healthy and nursing. The babies are immediately placed back with mom and their herd after their exams.

The Thomson’s Gazelle is one of the best-known gazelles. Named after explorer Joseph Thomson, it is sometimes referred to as a “Tommie”.  Native to Africa’s savannas and grassland habitats, particularly the Serengeti region of Kenya and Tanzania, it has a habitat preference for short grasslands.

After mating and a five to six month gestation period, females will leave the herd to give birth to a single fawn. They generally give birth twice yearly with 1-2 fawns. In the first six hours of the fawn’s life, it moves and rests with its mother, but eventually spends more time away from the mother or hides in grasses. The mother will remain in the vicinity of the fawn and return periodically, throughout the day, to nurse the baby. Mothers, in the wild, will defend their young against jackals and baboons, but not against larger predators. Head-butting is her means of defense against the smaller predators.

At around two months of age, the young will begin to spend more time grazing with mother and less time in hiding. However, the mother will also continue to nurse her offspring, during this time period.

The Thomson’s Gazelle is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. There was an estimated population decline of 60% from 1978 to 2005. Threats to the animal include: tourist impacts, habitat modification, fire management, and road development. 


Lazarus the Gazelle Makes a Comeback

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A newborn Thomson’s Gazelle, abandoned by its mother, was taken home by a senior keeper at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and nursed back to health.

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10484549_974761079206629_7268796461622791201_oPhoto Credits: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

‘Larry’, who was born October 9th, is one of only four Thomson’s Gazelles in the UK, all of which live at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

After the little gazelle, Larry, was born, keepers noticed that his first-time mother was not returning to feed him, and they grew concerned for his survival. Senior staff-members at the zoo were forced to make the difficult decision to step in and hand-rear Larry, requiring Team Leader, Mark Holden, to bottle-feed the calf with goat milk five times a day and at regular intervals during the night.

Mark said, “It’s always a last resort to separate a calf from the group, but little Larry was getting very weak and needed our help. As soon as we got some milk into him he started to improve. We named him ‘Lazarus’---Larry for short---because for a moment there, we really didn’t think he was going to pull through.”

“We put a sky kennel in our lounge for him and he quickly settled into a routine. When he’d had his milk and a little walk-about, he’d just take himself back off to bed. It was a little tricky having Larry in the house. We had to keep an eye on him after each feed and get ready with a towel in case he started to urinate.”

Mark continued, “After two weeks, Larry was healthy enough to go back to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and be reunited with the group, although he’s still getting a lot of extra care. He’s doing really well now, growing nicely and putting on weight. He has started to eat some solids like grass and hay, and he can be properly weaned in a few months.”


Mhorr Gazelle Learns to Trust Its Legs in Hungary

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Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden recently welcomed its newest resident, a newborn Mhorr Gazelle. The newcomer, a male, was born to Evita, a thirteen-year-old female who is an experienced mother. The baby has been named Ebo. Ebo is receiving a special milk formula every two and a half hours, as this has been shown to be an effective way to make sure young Gazelle receive proper nutrition.

The Mhorr Gazelle is a subspecies of Dama Gazelle, which is native to Northwest Africa. It is one of the most endangered ungulates in the world as there are none left living in their native habitat. As a result, the Budapest Zoo has been participating in a breeding program for the gazelle to help conserve this vanishing species since 2008. This birth, along with the many others that have come as a part of this successful breeding program, can be considered a huge success for their conservation.

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Photo credits: Kis Tiygriss

See many more photos after the fold!

 

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My, what big ears you have! Slender-horned Gazelle born at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

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An endangered Slender-horned Gazelle with improbably long ears and big dark eyes will greet visitors at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo beginning August 1 in the African Savanna.

Born in late June, the female calf has been off exhibit for about four weeks to give her time to bond with her mother, Francis. The calf is the first offspring at the Zoo for Francis, who came to Cleveland in 2009 from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and for her father, Ziggy, who came to the Zoo in 2010 from the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. The calf brings the number of Slender-horned Gazelles at the Zoo up to five. The other members of the herd are adult females Bullet and Ella.

Standing about 30 inches tall and weighing about 60 pounds, these graceful Gazelles have large ears, which serve as a cooling mechanism in the scorching desert heat, and slightly oversized hooves for walking in sand. Both males and females have horns.

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Slender-horned Gazelles were once one of the most common Gazelles in the Sahara Desert. While they still have a wide range, including Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia, their populations are small and fragmented. They are classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Slender-horned Gazelles.

Photo credits:  Joe Yachanin

 


Speaking of Speke's Gazelles...

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A new female Speke's gazelle named Iris was born at the Saint Louis Zoo on January 6. This is the second offspring for mother Lily and father Chip. This birth is the result of a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Speke's Gazelle Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program which manages Speke's gazelles in AZA zoos.

These small antelope are quite endangered in their arid homeland of Somalia. Their pale fawn color blends well with the sandy terrain there. To avoid predators, newborn calves lie motionless in the sparse vegetation, emerging from hiding long enough to nurse. 

The gazelle family can be seen together outside at Red Rocks on warmer days and inside the Antelope House on colder days. You can see in the video below that Iris has been exploring the habitat and getting used to stretching her legs by dodging adults and generally darting around!

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Photo Credit: St. Louis Zoo

 


Orphaned Baby Mhorr Gazelle Thriving at Al Ain Zoo

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Al Ain Zoo in the UAE has just closed a naming competition for their newest member... an endangered baby Mohrr gazelle. Keep an ear out for the winning name in the near future.

Born in late October, 2011, the baby was orphaned after it's mother passed away just hours after giving birth. A team of vets and zookeepers have been hand raising the little male, and he has been thriving.  They are taking the steps necessary to ensure the gazelle can be easily re-integrated into the herd one he's weaned and can feed himself. 

The baby is bottle-fed 5 times per day. Though he's kept in a separate area for now so he can be closely monitored as he grows, the enclosure is in close proximity to his herd, allowing connection and contact with them.

Dr Arshad Toosy, Manager of Venerinary Operations at Al Ain Zoo said, “We are delighted to welcome the new baby Mhorr gazelle to our western sub-species of the Dama gazelle, once lived in the Sahara desert areas in Morocco. Their numbers have rapidly declined due to hunting, over grazing by domestic livestock and civil unrest, and today the Mhorr gazelle exists only in captivity, where breeding and re-introduction programs are its only hope for survival.”

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Photo Credit: Al Ain Zoo

Continue reading "Orphaned Baby Mhorr Gazelle Thriving at Al Ain Zoo" »


Endangered Gazelle Fawn, Elvira, Finds Her Feet

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The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is welcoming a new arrival – a female Addra Gazelle calf born on Sunday, October 30, 2011, at approximately 8:00 am. The calf, named Elvira, weighed 4.95 kg (11 pounds) at birth, and is strong and healthy. Her parents are 9-year-old Pearl and 4-year-old Makuru. 

“Pearl, who gave birth to our male calf Ray-Ray in February, is unfortunately showing no signs of interest in her new offspring,” stated Mike McClure, general curator of the Zoo. “Because the calf is so significant to the overall population of this endangered species, we decided that a quick intervention was necessary in order to keep her healthy.”

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Continue reading "Endangered Gazelle Fawn, Elvira, Finds Her Feet" »


Busch Gardens Tampa Welcomes Baby Thomson's Gazelle

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Busch Gardens’ hoof-stock care team is currently hand raising a baby female Thomson’s Gazelle. The baby weighed just over four pounds at birth on February 25. When the calf refused to take milk from its mother, the park’s animal care team started bottle-feeding the baby.  She is now receiving five bottle feedings each day and is weighed daily to monitor her health.  At  about four weeks old, she has already gained more than two pounds. Thomson’s Gazelle, also called “tommies,” are one of three migratory species that make up the vast Serengeti migration. Like the zebra and the wildebeest, the Tommie population can reach more than 500,000 per migration. This baby will remain in the park’s back area until she is healthy enough to join the herd of Thomson’s gazelles on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. Guests can view the herd from Nairobi Walkway and get close-up views of the animals on the Serengeti Express Railway.

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Photo credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay