Meet the newest furry faces at Adelaide Zoo – Daphne and Benedict the Blackbuck!
The tiny duo were born at Monarto Safari Park, but unfortunately due to animal welfare reasons they had to be removed from the herd.
Keepers and veterinary staff made the quick decision to bring the pair to Adelaide Zoo on 5 January to be hand reared and cared for by the dedicated Children’s Zoo team.
Assistant Curator, Michelle Birkett, said the calves have been getting stronger each day and were learning to jump and leap.
“We have loved caring for Daphne and Benedict and they have quickly captured the hearts of everyone here at Adelaide Zoo,” she said.
“We have been feeding them a special antelope milk formula three times a day to make sure they get the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong!
“They love their bottle and their ears prick up each time they hear us coming. We’ve also started giving them grass, thistles and hay to get them ready for their life as adult Blackbuck.
“What is lovely is that because they have each other, they know how to be around their species and other animals.
“Blackbuck are very social, so we hope to introduce Daphne and Benedict to our Fallow Deer in the old Children’s Zoo to get them use to herd life.”
Once the pair are weaned, they will travel back to Monarto Safari Park to re-join the herd.
Blackbuck are renowned for their impressive spiralled horns, which sweep back from their head in a V-shape.
Sadly, Blackbuck numbers in the wild are decreasing due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting for these horns. The species is now declared regionally extinct across Pakistan and Bangladesh.
As a conservation charity, Zoos SA works to protect amazing animals like the Blackbuck and with each visit, experience or animal adoption contributing to this vital work.
Visitors can see the Blackbuck herd at Monarto Safari Park from the Zu-loop bus.
To learn more about Blackbuck or more information about Zoos SA’s conservation work, please visit zoossa.com.au.