Endangered addax antelope calf born at Brookfield Zoo

June 20, 2013 (BROOKFIELD, Ill.)

The male calf weighed 19 pounds at birth, and was born on exhibit in front of many zoo guests, Brookfield Zoo said.

The addax antelope species is on the brink of extinction in Africa's Sahara deserts. The baby addax joins the nearly 200 addax antelopes living in 19 accredited North American zoos. About 300 are known in the wild.

Addax, the zoo says, are the most desert-adapted antelope. Its hooves are wide, extra large, and spread out, which helps it stay on top of loose sand. Also, its legs, shorter than most antelope, bestow upon it a low center of gravity and help to steady the antelope, even on shifting sands. They derive moisture from sap of vegetation and from dew, and go nearly their whole life without drinking water.

The baby addax at Brookfield was born to Sara, 4, and Winston, 11. That pairing was based on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Addax Species Survival Plan, which manages breeding in zoos to maintain a genetically diverse, demographically stable, self-sustaining population.

Brookfield Zoo has had addax on exhibit since 1935 and has contributed 141 calves to the North American population of addax antelope since 1941, when the zoo had the first addax birth in the United States.

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