BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed a female Addra gazelle calf earlier this winter. “Magpie” was born on Saturday, December 1, 2018, to parents Pipit and Mukuru.

The Zoo’s herd is now made up of five animals. “The females, Wren and Pipit, are named for birds and so the animal care team has kept with the theme and named this little calf Magpie,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. “Magpie has been living with her mom in the warm comfort of her barn this winter, as Addra typically live in a warmer African climate.”

The Addra gazelle (Nanger dama), also known as the dama gazelle and mhorr gazelle, is the largest and tallest gazelle species. Native to Africa’s Sahara desert region, Addra gazelle are critically endangered due to habitat loss and overhunting.

“For now, Magpie will remain behind-the-scenes with the herd, including male calf Merle that was born in November,” said Cantwell. “Based on the weather, we anticipate it will be mid-April before she and Merle will make their public debut.” 

The calf’s birth was the result of a recommendation from the Addra Gazelle Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring health of the individual animal, as well as the long-term survival of the species population to help save animals from extinction.

During warmer weather, the Addra gazelles can be found in the African Watering Hole habitat near the rhino, ostrich, and zebra.

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