Spring Has Sprung! Chicago's Brookfield Zoo's New Nyala Calf Frolics In Rising Temperature
Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo has a new addition—a 3-month-old female nyala calf. As February turned to March, the youngster has been able to go outside and has been able to frolic in spring-like temperatures. Since her birth on December 5, 2022, the infant antelope has been behind the scenes bonding with her 4-year-old mother, Zola. Brookfield’s new nyala has just recently has been given access to their outdoor habitat with the rest of the herd that includes Hamilton, the calf’s sire, as well as fellow nyala, Merry; and Leah. The pairing of Zola and Hamilton was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) - a U.S. conservation programme. Both male and female nyala reach sexual maturity at about a year old. Peak breeding seasons are in the spring and autumn. Following a 7-month gestation, the female gives birth to usually one offspring. The species is considered the most sexually dimorphic among the spiral-horned antelopes as males are larger than the females and have impressive long inward spiraling horns. Nyala are considered common in southern African countries, including Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, but the species’ population is still under threat.