Nyala Newcomer at Wellington Zoo


A Nyala calf was born at Wellington Zoo, in New Zealand, at the end of October. The lovely newcomer joins older brother, Basie, who was born earlier in the year on Valentine’s Day.



4_NyalaCalf_WellingtonZooPhoto Credits: Wellington Zoo

Keepers are giving the calf and mother time to bond, so it will be a few weeks before the sex of the newborn is known.

The Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii), also known as Inyala, is a spiral horned, mid-sized antelope native to southern Africa.

Adult males stand at 43 inches (110 cm) and females at 3 ft. (90 cm). Males can weigh up to 276 lbs. (125 kg) and females up to 150 lbs. (68 kg).

Their coat is a rusty brown color in females and juveniles, but adult males develop a darker brown or slate grey coloring. Females and young males have ten or more white vertical stripes on their sides.

Only the males have horns, and the horns typically grown to 33 inches (83 cm) in length. There are only one or two twists in the horns. They Nyala have hairy glands on their feet, which leave a scent wherever they walk.

The Nyala breed throughout the year, with mating peaks in spring and autumn. Gestation lasts about seven months, and typically, a single calf is born. Newborns weigh about 11 lbs. (5 kg). Mothers will hide their calves for the first several weeks and nurse regularly.  The calf will remain with the mother until the birth of the next offspring.

The Nyala is currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but major threats to the population are hunting, habitat loss, agriculture and cattle grazing. Today, over 80% of the total population is protected in national parks and sanctuaries, mostly in South Africa.

There are currently eight Nyala in residence at Wellington Zoo, and they are part of a regional breeding programme, in New Zealand, for the beautiful animals.

Houston Zoo Cares for Valuable New Gem ‘Opal’

1_Houston Nyala Opal

Opal is one of four baby Nyala born at the Houston Zoo over the past two months, and keepers have formed a special attachment to the new calf. 

2_Houston Nyala Opal

3_Houston Nyala Opal

4_Houston Nyala OpalPhoto Credits: Houston Zoo

The Zoo’s keeper team noticed, soon after she was born on August 25, that she wasn’t nursing very well from mom, Ruby. They quickly intervened and taught the calf to bottle-feed, but kept her living with her mother so the pair could continue to bond behind-the-scenes. Soon, however, the keepers saw Opal nursing from Ruby! Recently, the team ended all bottles for Opal, and she is continuing to successfully nurse from mom. Opal now eats solid food, as well, which includes grain, hay, and produce.

Opal and her mom will continue to stay in their barn for a few more weeks, but guests and Zoo members can see the other three new Nyala frolicking around the yard, every day, at the Houston Zoo’s West Hoofed Run. Additional baby Nyala include: Wallace (mom Willow), born July 29; Fancy (mom Lola), August 12; and Fern (mom Ivy), September 8.

The Nyala (Tragelaphus angasil), also called inyala, are mid-sized members of the antelope family. Native to southern Africa, the spiral-horned males can weigh up to 275 pounds, and females weigh up to 150 pounds. When born, Nyala generally weigh around 10 pounds.

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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.  

Nyala Baby C

Nyala Baby A
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.    

Houston Zoo Welcomes Baby Nyala


On Wednesday April 3, at 3:55 pm, the Houston Zoo's four and a half year old Nyala antelope named Ginger went into labor.  By 4:02, the healthy baby boy had already kicked his way out of his mom and onto the ground, making this one of the fastest deliveries seen by staff.  The baby was very quick to get on his feet and to begin nursing and even to start exploring his new world.

The new baby has yet to be named, but he is now spending afternoons in the newly constructed west hoof run exhibit at the Houston Zoo with the entire Nyala antelope family.  Please stop by the new west hoof run exhibit to see our newest addition to the family.

A word of caution though, Nyala antelope like to “stash” their babies so that predators in the wild would not find them.  So if you don’t see him running around chasing his bigger brother, then you may have to look deep into some of the foliage we have in the exhibit for a glimpse of him.

3 nurse


Photo Credit: Stephanie Bledsoe-Adams/Houston Zoo

This is the second birth for mom Ginger and for dad Niles.  Their first offspring, a boy named Cashew, was born July 14th 2012






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


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.



Photo credits:  Newquay Zoo