Sable Antelope

Feeling Chipper at Zoo Basel

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Seven Miniature Zebus, in the Children’s Zoo of Zoo Basel, Switzerland, have recently been given identification in the form of a microchip the size of a grain of rice.

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Zwergziegen_behandeln_ZOB6032Photo Credits: Zoo Basel

The microchip, also called a transponder, is fitted by a veterinarian beneath the skin, above the shoulder blades and contains a fifteen-digit code that can be read using a small mobile reader. Information on the microchip allows quick access for veterinarians, and includes date of birth, parentage, offspring, and medical conditions or treatment. The ability to differentiate between individual animals of a particular species is also required by the breeding initiatives sponsored by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which enables zoos to ensure genetic diversity among their populations.

The veterinarians were assisted during the procedures by two young Children’s Zoo volunteers.  The girls, who work regularly with the animals at Zoo Basel, kept the animals calm and relaxed during the fitting.

Since the procedure cannot be performed on adult animals without anesthesia, the chips are, ideally, fitted at a very early age. In addition to the Miniature Zebu calves, several other species of zoo babies received microchips.  A Lion cub, Snow Leopard cub, a critically endangered African Wild Ass foal, and a young Sable Antelope received the transponders.  

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Playful Baby Antelope Frolic in the Swiss Snow

This past November Switzerland's Zoo Basel welcomed three new Sable Antelope calves. This brings the total number of Sable Antelope bred at Zoo Basel to seventy! To ensure the genetic health of the species at their facilities, zoos regularly transfer Sable Antelope between institutions internationally and Zoo Basel plays a big role in this exchange. Antelope calves are playful and love to test their long legs with sprints. These babies are clearly enjoying the snow.

Sable Antelope Calf at Zoo Basel 1

Sable Antelope Calf at Zoo Basel 1

Sable Antelope Calf at Zoo Basel 1

Sable Antelope Calf at Zoo Basel 1

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Continue reading "Playful Baby Antelope Frolic in the Swiss Snow" »


Sable Antelope Calf at Zoo Basel

On January 12th, Switzerland's Zoo Basel welcomed a Sable Antelope calf, its third in two weeks! Typically, expectant Sable Antelope mothers exhibit a number of signs before they give birth, but this time the little female calf was born so quickly that keepers had to scramble just to throw hay on the ground to create a soft resting place for the newborn. The vet check-up confirmed that the baby girl was in good health. 

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