It’s always a great day at a zoo when a new animal is born — there’s nothing more adorable than a newborn baby animal.
But it’s even more exciting when the animal is part of an endangered species: every new birth is a step towards ensuring their surivival.
Now, the Indianapolis Zoo is celebrating the birth of a critically endangered gazelle.
The newborn is a male Addra gazelle, the largest and most endangered species of gazelle. He was born on November 6, to 7-year-old mom Swann and her mate Kamal. It is the third calf for both parents.
According to the zoo, the birth was a success and the adorable baby gazelle is developing on track.
“Mom and baby are both doing great,” the Indianapolis Zoo writes. “The calf, who doesn’t yet have a name, weighed slightly more than 11 pounds at birth and he has been nursing well.”
The Addra gazelle, also known as the Dama gazelle, is considered the largest species of gazelle, with noticeably long legs and necks.
They are also currently listed as a critically endangered species. They are very rare in the wild, with a population of less than 500, due to overhunting and habitat loss.
The Addra gazelle is now largely bred in captivity in an attempt to repopulate this very vulnerable species. The zoo says that the animal’s endangered status “makes this birth even more special.”
The newborn gazelle is not currently available for viewing: the zoo explains that during the winter, the herd stays inside a “cozy indoor facility,” but in the spring guests will be able to see the new calf for themselves.
What a beautiful gazelle! A precious new birth and a big step towards saving this severely endangered species.
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