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BROWNSVILLE - The Gladys Porter Zoo announced the first birth of the zoo’s first endangered addax antelope on March 22. The healthy female calf was delivered by zookeepers and veterinary staff and is now under her mother's care. This birth is significant because in their native Africa the population of addaxes is dwindling.
"This is a very exciting beginning of endangered antelope here at Gladys Porter Zoo," said Jerry Stones, facilities director. Stones says the other two female addaxes are also pregnant and looks forward to welcoming new babies in the future.
In August of 2009, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confiscated a trailer-full of hoof stock, including a male addax and three females. The addaxes were then brought to the zoo where they have become the first of their kind to be exhibited at the zoo. Zoo guests can see the new addition with her parents in the Africa section of the zoo.
Zookeepers also welcomed three baby black swans in March. The triplets are the third clutch to be born of the mother black swan. The baby black swans or cygnets are hand raised by Jesse Olvera, head keeper in the bird department.
At this age, the cygnets sport down feathers which are a light gray color. Black plumage will begin to appear when the birds are about five weeks old. The baby black swans are currently cared for in the off-display bird-breeding complex. Their parents can be seen on exhibit in the Australia section of the zoo.
For more information, contact Cristina Caballero at 546-7187.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.