Zoo welcomes rare gazelle calves to start the year
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Gray News) - A zoo in Ohio says it is celebrating a baby boom to start the year.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium reports it has welcomed three dama gazelle calves — the rarest of all gazelles — in January and February.
The zoo’s care team said they are thriving since being born to mothers Kix, Susie and Raisin.
“Since Heart of Africa opened in 2014, we’ve welcomed 14 dama gazelle calves, and every birth is special and important to the survival of this rare species,” said Shannon Borders, curator of the Columbus Zoo’s Heart of Africa region.
The three calves have not yet been named, and the team said they continue to bond with their mothers and one another in a behind-the-scenes area at the zoo.
“We’re proud of the dedication and expertise of our care teams who stepped in to help ensure that the calves have what they need for their health and overall wellbeing,” Borders said.
According to the zoo, the calves and their mothers have access to yards adjacent to their barns. The region’s 23-acre savanna that the dama gazelles share with other species is scheduled to reopen after the winter months.
Zoo officials said dama gazelles are critically endangered, with fewer than 300 left in their native range. And the breeding recommendations are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
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