Karl Bulpitt Photography

Marwell Zoo welcomes critically endangered addax calf

Posted: 22nd November, 2017

Marwell Zoo is delighted to welcome a rare new arrival which is thriving to the delight of keepers.

Tamarisk, an 11-week-old addax calf, was born at the zoo to mother Blossom and father George.

Addax are critically endangered with fewer than 100 animals thought to be left in the wild where they are threatened by illegal hunting and habitat degradation.

There is however a healthy global zoo population and Marwell Wildlife is helping to reintroduce the species in Tunisia as well as supporting the conservation of remaining wild addax populations in Chad and Niger.

Tamarisk, who brings the total number of addax at the zoo to six, is part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which seeks to safeguard populations of threatened species through cooperative breeding.

The nomadic addax is supremely adapted to the harsh conditions of its native Sahara desert, rarely drinking and moving vast distances in search of pasture and shade.

They have to tolerate extremely hot, and at times, cold conditions so Tamarisk has been named by keepers after the important and diverse types of Tamarix trees which provide shelter for addax and other aridland wildlife.

Ian Goodwin, animal collection manager, said: “Tamarisk is doing very well and it is great for guests and keepers to watch him play around in his paddock. Like other antelope, addax calves are particularly playful and active at this age under the watchful eye of their mothers.”

Young addax are fully weaned at around six to ten months and are mature by the time they are two to two-and-a-half years old.

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