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.
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.