The addax is a large antelope native to the Sahara Desert and is well adapted to the harsh desert climate. They survive on sparse vegetation and can go weeks to months without drinking water. The addax is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN’s Red List, with major threats being hunting, drought, and habitat loss.
The new calf represents hope for the critically endangered addax population. It’s believed that there are fewer than 300 individuals remaining in the wild. In 2007, thirteen captive-bred addax were released in Tunisia, in an effort to re-establish the species in its natural habitat.
Lee Richardson Zoo’s new arrival is the result of a breeding recommendation by the AZA Addax Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSPs are programs in which AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums work together to manage the breeding of a species and ensure a healthy, genetically diverse population. Learn more about how AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums help save species: https://www.aza.org/conservation/