An adorable male addax calf was born at Brookfield Zoo earlier this month.
The 15-pound calf is the third addax born this year at Brookfield Zoo, which is 14 miles from downtown Chicago. Since the species is close to extinction in the wild, every addax birth is a critical step in protecting the species, according to Chicago Zoological Society officials.
Addax — also known as African antelope, white antelope, and screwhorn antelope — were once found in deserts across northern Africa. They are easily recognized by their ridged, spiral-shaped horns.
The unnamed male is the first calf for mom, Ivy. He is the fifth calf sired by Ishnala.
The pairing of Ivy and Ishnala was based on a recommendation made by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, the Chicago Zoological Society explains. That plan, followed by accredited North American zoos and aquariums, manages the “breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.”
Chicago Zoological Society officials explain that the program plays an important role in preserving the critically endangered addax because there are possibly less than 100 of the antelope remaining in the wild. However, there are more than 160 addax in 22 AZA-accredited facilities.
All About Addax
Male addaxes usually weigh 220–300 pounds while the smaller females typically weigh 130–200 pounds, according to Live Science. They stand 37–45 inches at the shoulder. Interestingly, both males and females have long, spiral horns. They are usually 30–43 inches long.
Here’s why they are a critically endangered species.
Addaxes’ habitats are often destroyed to make more farming or residential land, according to Endangered List.
“The greatest threat to addax, however, is man since locals hunt them without any limits or supervision,” Endangered List continues. “Addax are slow-moving animals so they are easy targets for hunters in their Jeeps armed with modern weaponry.”
Know Before You Go
If you want to visit Brookfield Zoo to see the addax calf, keep in mind that addax are considered a “hider or nesting species,” so he and his mom may be indoors.
However, they also may be seen while he’s nursing.
An addax calf will nurse from its mother while standing until about 15 weeks of age. After that, they nurse while kneeling down. Addax calves will nurse somewhere between 23 and 39 weeks.
Finally, anyone interested in helping care for the addax at Brookfield Zoo can make a contribution to the animal adoption program. You can learn more about “adopting” an addax, or any of the zoo’s other animals, at Chicago Zoological Society’s animal adoption webpage.
For more about animals and their babies, be sure to read our Zoo content, including: