Image: © Zoos SA
Keepers at Adelaide Zoo are being kept busy caring for a pair of blackbuck calves. Born at Monarto Safari Park the pair were removed from their herd due to animal welfare reasons and brought to Adelaide where specialist keepers are available to hand-rear them.
The pair have been named Daphne and Benedict and keepers say they are getting stronger with each day.
Assistant Curator, Michelle Birkett, said “We have loved caring for Daphne and Benedict and they have quickly captured the hearts of everyone here at Adelaide Zoo,” she said.
“We have been feeding them a special antelope milk formula three times a day to make sure they get the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong!”
“They love their bottle and their ears prick up each time they hear us coming. We’ve also started giving them grass, thistles and hay to get them ready for their life as adult Blackbuck.”
It is hoped that overtime the pair will make some new friends at Adelaide Zoo, “Blackbuck are very social, so we hope to introduce Daphne and Benedict to our Fallow Deer in the old Children’s Zoo to get them use to herd life.”
At Monarto Safari Park guests can view the large blackbuck herd from the Zu-Loop Safari Bus. Daphne and Benedict will return to the herd once they have been weaned from milk.
Blackbucks are notable for their large, spiral horns. Unfortunately their numbers are declining due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting for those horns. Zoos SA contribute to the conservation of species such as the blackbuck globally.
Blackbucks live in a herd led by a male, ‘the blackbuck.’ His females are coloured a fawn colour, learn more about this unique natural history in our fact file.
Blackbucks can run at speeds of up to 80km/h (50mph). While running they may undertake large leaps which are thought to show their health to potential predators and discourage them from hunting the blackbuck.
Image: © Zoos SA
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