Nyala antelope born at Cornwall's biggest zoo
Published: 14th Jun 2012Last year staff and visitors at Newquay Zoo celebrated the birth of two Nyala antelope, the first time ever the species were successfully bred at the Zoo. And now there is even more…
Last year staff and visitors at Newquay Zoo celebrated the birth of two Nyala antelope, the first time ever the species were successfully bred at the Zoo.
And now there is even more reason to rejoice, as another baby Nyala has been born.
John Meek, Animal Collections Manager said: ‘‘The baby, which we think is a girl, is doing well – within hours she was up and on her feet, and she has been bonding well with her mother which we are really pleased to see. She is now visible to the public, spending her time roaming around the African Savanna exhibit at the Zoo.’’
Nyala are a shy antelope species that dislike open space and so are usually found hiding amongst bushes and thicket. In the wild mother nyala will leave their newborn baby hidden away for the first few weeks, returning only to clean and nurse them. Although the species is not considered to be endangered, they have been negatively affected by habitat loss due to over-farming, as well as by hunting.
‘‘In the past, Nyala disappeared from much of their range due to habitat loss caused by farming, over-grazing by cattle, hunting by humans, and rinderpest infection’’ added John. ‘‘However, effective habitat protections, species management, and re-introduction to areas where they had been wiped out have helped the species to bounce back. It is brilliant that at Newquay Zoo we are making such a positive contribution towards the captive population of Nyala. We hope to be able to continue this success in the future, and this baby girl will be of great benefit to the organised breeding programme.’’