Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: June 3, 2021 4:45 pm
Some of the females within the new nyala herd at Orana Wildlife Park
Photo Credit: Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park have introduced their newest animals, a herd of nyala, which went on display this morning. The five antelopes are the first of their species to ever live at Orana Wildlife Park.
Distinguished by their short fluffy tail and the orange coat with white stripes the Nyala is an antelope from southern Africa.
The herd includes 5 members with two males and three females aged between 1 and 4 years old. The group arranged from Wellington Zoo as part of a breeding program for their species.
Lead Ungulate Keeper, Stewart Taylor, says: “It’s a privilege for us to join the regional breeding programme for these stunning animals. Orana plays a key role in maintaining genetically healthy sustainable programmes especially for hoofstock species being New Zealand’s only open range zoo.”
“The nyala have settled in nicely, though they could have had a nicer welcome to Christchurch given the terrible wet weather over the weekend. The girls are very friendly and inquisitively approach keepers whereas the boys are more reserved”.
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Nyala are also known as a spiral-horned antelope though only the males have horns. These can reach up to 80cm in length. “Our boys are young with small horns so we will watch the development of their magnificent horns with interest. The males are separated from the females and housed off-display for now”.
Less than 30,000 of these antelope remain in the wild with most of these protected in national parks in sanctuaries throughout southern Africa.
“I am sure visitors will enjoy meeting these amazing animals and we hope in time they will produce lots of youngsters”, concludes Stewart.
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