PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Living Desert is celebrating a joyful couple of weeks as it welcomes its newest residents; two female addax were born within two weeks of each other. According to park management, lucky visitors were able to observe the births of the calves during the day on October, 18, and November, 1.
The mothers, Midori and Asani, were bred by the park's male breeder, Mozzarella. Midori's calf weighed 6.3 kilograms, and Asani's calf weighed 6.5 kilograms, according to zookeepers.
The two calves passed their well-baby exams and are now on exhibit with the park's other four addax. They will be named later this month after zookeepers have had an opportunity to observe their personalities.
"It's always exciting when new life is born here and having two addax born within two weeks of each other was especially thrilling," said Stacey Johnson, President/CEO of The Living Desert. "These two amazing antelope are sure to fascinate our visitors with their unique traits and personalities."
Park officials said that although critically endangered and extremely rare in their native habitat of the Sahara due to unregulated hunting, the addax does well in captivity. The addax is also known as the white antelope and the screwhorn antelope. It has long, twisted horns that have two to three twists and are typically 22 to 31 inches long.
Zookeepers said addaxes are nocturnal and well adapted to living in the Sahara Desert, their natural habitat, since they can live without water for long periods of time. They mainly eat grasses, bushes, and leaves. They have a strong social structure and herds are led by the oldest female. Addax fossils have been found in Egypt dating as far back as 7000 BCE.
The two births were the successful result of The Living Desert's addax breeding program.