A CALF of an incredibly rare gazelle species is being hand reared by keepers at Valencia’s BioParc in eastern Spain after its mother died while giving birth.
The Mhorr gazelle mother died during a ‘difficult delivery’ during which staff had to intervene to save the newborn.
Keepers immediately stepped in to hand-rear the newborn accepting “the responsibility that each new Mhorr gazelle represents hope for the survival of its species”.
The BioParc is involved in an International Captive Breeding Program for the species, which is considered extinct in the wild and is listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of the Nature ( IUCN).
Round the clock care has been given to the celebrity newborn since his birth a week ago with keepers bottle-feeding five times a day as well as simulating nurturing that would have been given by the mother.
“A gauze pad moistened with warm water is wiped over the genital area to encourage urination and expulsion of faeces,” explained a keeper at Bioparc Valencia who added that it appears the newborn is a male.
Zoo authorities said he is doing well so far and should be ready in a week or so to join his new adoptive family – a herd of two males, two females and another calf.