Twin Addax calves were born July 5, at Rolling Hills Zoo, in Salina, Kansas. The twins, male and female, were born to mom, Aamira.
This was Aamira’s first experience with a multiple birth. Peter Burvenich, the zoo’s General Curator, said twin births are extremely rare for the Addax, accounting for only 1 of every 2,500 births.
The Addax, also known as the “screwhorn antelope”, is native to the Sahara desert. As suggested by its name, it has long twisted horns, typically 22 to 31 inches (55 to 80 cm) in females and 28 to 33 inches (70 to 85 cm) in males.
They are sexually dimorphic, as the females are smaller than the males. The color of the coat depends on the season, greyish-brown in winter and sandy-white in summer.
They mainly eat grasses and leaves of any available shrub, herb or bush. They are also well adapted to desert habitat and can live without water for long periods of time. The Addax form herds of five to 20 and are led by the oldest female of the group.
The Addax is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is extremely rare in its native habitat, due to unregulated hunting.