Marwell Zoo celebrates birth of incredibly rare endangered addax calf

Marwell Zoo/Cover Images

Visitors at a British zoo got to witness the birth of a critically endangered addax calf this week.

The male calf was born shortly after 12:30pm in the zoo's Arid Lands exhibit, opposite the meerkats.

Guests were able to watch the incredibly rare birth through the viewing window. The new arrival has not been named yet but is reported to be feeding well having found his feet shortly after he was born.

In the wild, addaxes have been hunted to near extinction and their meat, horns, and hide prized by hunters, while their habitat has eroded as a result of oil exploration and cattle farming.

They are now listed in CITES Appendix I, which means that trade in the animal or any part of its body is illegal. It's thought there are only 30 to 90 mature individuals left in the wild with numbers continuing to decrease.

Amelie arrived at Marwell in 2020 from Woburn Safari Park following a breeding recommendation from the European Ex-situ breeding programme.

This is Amelie's second calf since arriving at Marwell, following the birth of a male, Ephedra, in March last year. Both births are hugely significant for the species and are a step towards ensuring that these animals survive in the future.

In Niger, there are addaxes present in a large reserve. In Tunisia and Morocco, several hundred addaxes have been released into large fenced enclosures.