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Werribee Open Range Zoo

Nyala calves delight zoo visitors

3 December 2018

For the first time, the public can now see Nyala calves on display at Werribee Open Range Zoo in all their adorable glory.

Two of the Bambi-esque African antelopes were welcomed into the world by different mothers just one day apart recently, and are settling into life with the herd in the Woodlands Waterhole.

Females Okokuqala, Zulu for ‘first’, and Nakeisha, an African name meaning ‘life’, join the two male and six female Nyala already living in the open-range area.

Savannah Coordinator Luke Hausler said the calves are doing well. “We’re really happy with their progress.”

Despite being less than one month old, the calves already have an important job to do. The species, which only arrived at the zoo a few months ago, will help visitors learn about the dangers many African animals face in the wild and what we can do to help fight wildlife extinction.

In Africa, the major threats to the population of Nyala are poaching, habitat loss, agriculture and cattle grazing.

“It’s also a great opportunity for people to get know a variety of bush antelope that they have probably never seen before,” Mr Hausler said, adding that visitors are likely to be awed by this animal’s striking look. “The boys are beautiful with large curved horns, and the females have big doe-eyes.”

The Nyala have taken up residence in the Woodlands Waterhole area, a combination of grassland and wooded surroundings.

The calves come at a perfect time for the public, with school holidays just around the corner. You can see the Nyala and Blackbuck herds in the Woodlands Waterhole while on Werribee Open Range Zoo’s Safari Tour.