Visitors witnessed the birth of a Critically Endangered addax calf as the mother, Amelie, went into labor on Wednesday morning at Marwell Wildlife.
The male calf was born just after 12.30pm in the zoo’s Arid Lands exhibit, opposite the meerkats. Visitors watched the incredibly rare birth through the viewing window.
The new arrival has yet to be named but is reportedly feeding well having found his feet shortly after he was born.
In the wild, addax are hunted to near exhaustion, with their meat, horns and hides prized by hunters and their habitat destroyed as a result of oil exploration and cattle ranching.
They are already listed in Appendix I of CITES, meaning that the trade of the animal or any of its body parts is illegal.
It is thought that there are only 30 to 90 mature individuals left in the wild with numbers continuing to decline.
Amelie came to Marwell in 2020 from Woburn Safari Park following a breeding recommendation from the European Ex-situ breeding Programme.
This is Amelie’s second calf since arriving at Marwell, following the birth of a boy, Ephedra, in March last year.
Both births are very important for the species and a step towards ensuring that these animals will survive in the future.
In Niger, there are addax present in a large reserve. In Tunisia and Morocco, several hundred addax were released in large hedgerows.
While the new arrival and its mother bond, we ask visitors to be particularly quiet in this building and please do not tap the glass.
Conservation charity Marwell Wildlife owns and runs the zoo, which gives visitors the chance to see giraffes, rhinoceros, zebras and tigers among many rare and endangered species.
Prebooking is recommended for our best prices and more information can be found at www.marwell.org.uk.