Treasures on the Zambesi at Hannover Adventure Zoo
Celebrations and jubilations at Hannover Adventure Zoo: the Zoo’s rare Addax antelopes have already produced four offspring this year, with a fifth calf due soon. The pale desert antelopes, also known as Screwhorns, are critically endangered. Only 200 – 500 Addax actually still live wild in the Sahara desert. The zoo breeding programme and an international project to reintroduce zoo-bred animals into the wild, co-ordinated by Hannover Zoo, are attempts to save this antelope species. In a few years time some of the young Hannover animals might well be returned to the desert.
The new born were all calved within a few days: on 12 and 14 May and again on 24 and 25 May. The calves spent the first few weeks behind the scenes with their mothers Bona, Lotta, Berta and Lisa. Young Addax are kept hidden by their mothers, well away from the herd. Their mothers only go to the hide-away to bring water.
The young antelopes – two females, two males – are now big and strong enough to run with the herd and explore their world on the Zambesi. It’s not easy for the mothers as they show their offspring around: they have to keep an eye on the lively calves while at the same time re-establishing their own hierarchy – they were after all absent for several weeks.
Once the four young animals and their mothers have got used to one another, their father, Smokey, will return to the herd. The youngsters will then gradually be introduced to their co-habitants, the Somali Wild Ass and the Dorcas gazelles.
At Hannover Adventure Zoo, the Addax enclosure resembles a long forsaken desert fort, its wind and weather beaten walls glowing red like a Fata Morgana above the desert sands. This spectacular setting draws the attention of visitors to this rare desert antelope, giving the Zoo an opportunity to provide visitors with information about how these animals are threatened.
The pale Addax are perfectly adapted to desert life, enduring merciless temperatures of 50°C. They survive on just a few herbs and grasses. Addax can go for months without water and have the ability to sense rain in the desert – even up to 200 kilometres distant. They then move in search of the fresh green grass which grows after the rain.
Antelopes have to fight more than just the heat and thirst of the desert; they are also fighting for survival. In most Saharan states, the desert antelope has already been eradicated.
Since 1985, the Zoo has reintroduced Addax to desert habitats in Tunisia and Morocco and is engaged with other zoos from all over the world in preventing this rare antelope from becoming extinct in the wild. 100 Addax from Hannover, Europe and the USA are already re-established in national parks in the Sahara.
dventure Zoo with about 3,400 animals in seven unique theme worlds, numerous animal shows and commented feedings daily, free attractions such as the Zambezi boat ride, Henry’s Underwater World, jungle path, evolution trail, adventure playgrounds, petting meadow as well as regional specialties in every theme world.
(Hannover Adventure Zoo)
Presse: Dr. Simone Hagenmeyer
Tel. (+49) 511 28074117
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