West Midland Safari Park

Endangered Arrivals Enamour Safari Park

Posted: 30th May, 2023

West Midland Safari Park is experiencing the start of a spring baby boom, welcoming three endangered babies in the space of a week.

First to appear, on the morning of 8 May, was a tiny barasingha fawn, found by keepers hidden amongst the long grass on the safari.

Next to arrive, peeking out shyly from behind its mum, was a lowland anoa calf – the smallest species of wild cattle in the world and listed as ‘endangered’, with less than 2,500 remaining in the wild.

The cute male was born on 11 May, to parents ‘Sonia’ and ‘Tyson’ and has been named ‘Luca’ by his keepers, as all animals born at the Park in 2023 will have names beginning with ‘L’.

A few days later, another barasingha fawn was born and keepers suspect that this won’t be the last of the arrivals.

Lisa Watkins, Head Keeper of Ungulates, said, “We are delighted with the birth of not just an anoa calf but also two barasingha fawns over the last week. These babies join Lola, the Grevy’s zebra foal, who was born earlier in the year, and we expect that we will see some more babies over the following months.

“Lowland anoa are classed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and barasingha are ‘vulnerable’, so both are threatened species, with their numbers declining in the wild. Every birth is really important for the species as a whole and we are glad to say that all are thriving and enjoying the beautiful weather. We hope these animals will breed again in the future when the time is right, to help conserve these amazing species!”

Lowland anoa are endemic to Indonesia and are only found on the islands of Sulawesi and Buton, where their numbers are declining due to habitat loss and hunting.

Barasingha face similar threats in India and Nepal, with habitat degradation and poaching listed as their main threats, making them ‘vulnerable’ to extinction.

Both species are part of EEPs (EAZA Ex-situ Programmes), which are collaborative breeding programmes between European zoos, aiming to conserve endangered species.

The barasingha fawns can be spotted by eagle-eyed guests in the Wild Asia section of the safari drive-through.

The lowland anoa calf is currently in an area not accessible to the public, while he settles in, but the adult anoa can be seen on the four-mile safari drive-through, which is included in the admission price. Guests are encouraged to book online in advance for the best prices. Children under the age of three are free.

Further information about West Midland Safari Park is available from the Park’s website www.wmsp.co.uk or by telephone 01299 402114. Find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WestMidSafari

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