Spring sees the birth of many newborn animals to the Johannesburg Zoo.

One of the joys of working in a zoo environment is being part of the birth of many wild animal species. This year alone the zoo has seen the birth of over 70 animals, the majority coming from our herbivore section. Regardless of the species, zoo staff and visitors love observing animal babies grow up to become strong healthy adults. Certain species born such as the Arabian Oryx and the Wattled Crane play an important role in breeding programmes.

Since August, the zoo has seen the birth of an endangered Arabian Oryx calf, Gemsbok calf, and an African Buffalo calf. All three calves are important addition to their family herds and in the case of the Arabian Oryx this newborn is very important to the survival of the species. Twenty years ago the Arabian Oryx was virtually extinct in the wild and through breeding and conservation efforts by zoos’ globally their status has been changed to vulnerable. This new calf will help the international conservation efforts to ensure the species survival.

Our most recent African Buffalo calf is the third successful baby born in the past three years by Thatohatsi, one of the zoo’s buffalo cows. Thatohatsi is now 8 years old and is the proud mother of three strong buffalo males. This new addition will stay with his mother until he is old enough to move to the zoo’s conservation farm and one day protect his own herd of females and offspring. 

In addition to our bigger herbivore species, our Aoudad or Barbary Sheep, which is a threatened wild sheep species found only in Africa, recently saw the addition of twin lambs. In our farmyard our Nguni or Zulu Sheep herd has also seen the addition of twin lambs which is an indigenous domestic sheep species found in South Africa.

In our primate section of the zoo saw the birth of a baby Emperor Tamarin, a primate which originates from South America and is endangered in Brazil and Peru. This small primate species weighs only 500g when fully grown. When visiting the Tamarins' enclosure in the Amazonia exhibit of the zoo, the new tiny addition can be seen being carried on the back of its mom, dad and sister’s backs.

Other youngsters growing up fast in the zoo include the a Buffed Cheeked Gibbon, six Wattled Crane chicks, a Blue Duiker, Bushbuck and Nyala calves and Cameroon Pygmy Goat kids born at the zoo since June 2011. The Johannesburg Zoo is looking forward to more births in the warm summer months to come.

Prepared Candice Segal and issued by Letta Madlala Brand and Communications Manager on behalf of the Johannesburg Zoo. END.

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