June 1, 2023 (BALTIMORE, MD) – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce the newest member of its sitatunga herd. A female calf was born to the adult female, Ally, and male, Beau, on May 23rd. Since then, the mother and calf have been bonding in the sunshine behind the scenes until the calf is ready to join the larger herd.

The new calf joins a thriving sitatunga herd of 11 animals, which can be found in two habitats along the boardwalk in the Zoo’s African Journey.

The sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They live in swamps, marshes, and floodplains. Their long, splayed hooves allow them to walk across islands of floating vegetation and wet terrain without sinking, but they’re also strong swimmers, who can hide from predators underwater if need be with only their nostrils (and maybe eyes) showing. Outside of protected areas, sitatunga are vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss, as people drain and develop swamp land. Currently, sitatunga are not classified as threatened or endangered.

This is the third calf for the adult male, Beau, who was transferred to the Maryland Zoo as recommended by the Sitatunga 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 the health of the individual animal, as well as the long-term survival to help save animals from extinction.