Como Zoo has welcomed a female lesser kudu calf, born overnight on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The birth is the result of a recommendation from the Lesser Kudu Species Survival Plan (SSP), coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the AZA population and the health of individual animals. Como Zoo is an accredited institution of the AZA.
The calf was born to five-year-old Fjorda and sired by seven-year-old Bond. She is the third offspring for Fjorda. “The calf was standing and nursing when the Zookeeper arrived in the morning. She has long legs, big ears, and is fiercely cute,” said Andrew Nerness, Senior Zookeeper. “Fjorda is taking great care of her and has already proven to be a great mom.” The calf stands about three-feet-tall and weighs in at about 14 pounds.
The baby calf is currently off exhibit while she bonds with Fjorda. She is expected to make her public debut in the next few weeks.
Naming rights to the calf will be incorporated into Como Friends’ July 15th Sunset Affair Gala.
Lesser kudu are one of the more striking species of antelope. Lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis australis) are one of eight species of African spiral-horned antelope. This species has a white stripe running down its back with 11 to 14 stripes coming off it and down the animal’s side. Large ears allow for enhanced listening abilities and predator detection, and the coloration of lesser kudu is such that when individuals remain motionless, they are very difficult to detect in their natural habitat. Male lesser kudu horns can grow to be 72 inches long, with 2 ½ twists. In the wild they live in dry, densely thicketed scrub and woodlands of northern east Africa including parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Interestingly, they rarely drink water, apparently getting enough liquid from the plants that they eat.
Photo credit: Susannah Baudhuin, Como Friends.