Blackbuck Antelope born at Alma

Keepers were delighted to find that Alma’s Blackbuck Antelope herd increased by one on the morning of December 18th.  This is the 3rd Blackbuck Antelope to be born at the Zoo and Keepers are hoping that a 4th baby will be arriving very soon.

Blackbuck Antelope are native to India.  They live on open plains in herds of 5-50 animals.

Blackbucks can leap extraodinarly high into the air and then run at speeds of up to 80km per hour to escape predators.

Blackbuck have been classified as near extinct since 2003. Threats to their existance include poaching, habitat destruction, overgrazing and in-breeding within remaining small herds.

The Blackbuck breeding program at Alma Park Zoo assists to develop genetic diversity of Indian Blackbuck for future generations.  Currently the Zoo has 1 mature male Blackbuck (pictured) and 2 breeding females.

In November 2012,  one of the females produced twin Blackbuck Antelopes, a male and a female.

Twin births in Blackbucks is very rare.  Both twins have grown well over the past year, with the young male exhibiting how a young male Blackbuck develops their gorgeous horns over a number of years.

Typically, young Blackbuck will remain hidden from view for a few weeks.  This protects young Blackbucks from predators.

Last years twin Blackbucks were no exception to this rule of the wild, preferring to remain hidden in the enclosure from Zoo guests for a number of weeks after they were born.

Female Blackbuck at Alma with twins November 2012. Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

Female Blackbuck at Alma with twins November 2012. Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

However, this years baby male Blackbuck is defying wild behaviour by choosing not to remain hidden and coming close to Zoo guests to say hello!

Male baby Blackbuck born December 18th, 2013. Photo © Teale Shapcott

Male baby Blackbuck born December 18th, 2013. Photo © Teale Shapcott

Name our baby Blackbuck on Facebook!

Our new baby Blackbuck male is yet to be named.  We are seeking suggestions from the fans of Alma Park Zoo on Facebook.  Keepers would like an Indian name that describes this little boy’s unusual curious nature.

To help with suggesting a name, we have included a few baby photos here!

 

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

 

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

Male baby Blackbuck Antelope Photo © Teale Shapcott, used with permission.

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