What's a Sitatunga?
February 03, 2009
A species of antelop native to Central Africa, this little calf was born January 9th at the Maryland Zoo. Baby "Jelani" weighed just over 11lbs at birth and has a very attentive mother.
SITATUNGA CALF BORN AT MARYLAND ZOO IN BALTIMORE FARING WELL
BALTIMORE, MD –The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is happy to report that its newest arrival – a male sitatunga born on January 9 - is doing well and keeping snug in the barn with his mother. The calf, named “Jelani” which means “mighty,” weighs over 11 pounds, and is strong and healthy. His parents are four-year-old Jahari and ten-year-old Joanie. Joanie is an experienced mother, and she is very attentive to the calf’s needs. Zoo visitors will be able to see Joanie and Jelani in March when the Zoo opens for the 2009 season along with the rest of the herd. The sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They live in semi-aquatic swamps, marshes and flood plains. The Maryland Zoo’s sitatunga herd is made up of six animals, including Jelani, and can be found along the boardwalk in the Africa section of the Zoo. Jelani’s birth is the result of a recommendation from the Sitatunga Population Management Plan (PMP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). PMPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the captive population and the health of individual animals. The AZA Small Population Management Advisory Group (SPMAG) at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago helps to develop breeding recommendations for the advancement of sitatunga in AZA-accredited zoos.