Endangered Gazelles 1st Steps After Zoo Birth

A critically endangered gazelle has been born in a Spanish zoo.

The dama gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr) was born at the Bioparc Valencia zoo in the city of Valencia, in the eastern Spanish region of the same name as part of a breeding programme which belongs to an international preservation programme.

The baby gazelle’s first steps were recorded with the group and can be seen as it is cared for by its mother.

The zoo said the baby had to be kept in a cage for its own health and safety for two days before it was released into the group.

Fleur, the mother of the newborn, was born in Rotterdam and moved to Bioparc Valencia in 2014. She has given birth to five offspring, starting in 2017, and following in 2018,2019 and now in 2020.

The dama gazelle is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List and was saved from extinction thanks to the breeding projects set up by the Spanish scientist Jose Antonio Valverde.

Valverde brought a group of the gazelles native to the Sahara desert to Almeria in Spain over 40 years ago to save them.

In 2015 a reintroduction project was conducted in the Western Saharan territory of Morocco and further reintroduction initiatives have been created in Senegal and Tunisia.

Sources from the zoo said the gazelle is the second born in Spain during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.