It has been a busy fall for four-year-old Smithsonian male dama gazelle Edem. September 7, Edem’s fourth calf was born to eight-year-old gazelle Zafirah. And just over a month later, on October 9, Edem’s fifth calf, a female, was born to nine-year-old Fahima.
The dama gazelle is the largest and rarest gazelle breed, with fewer than 400 remaining in the wild. Native to the Sahara, the critically endangered wild dama gazelles roam primarily in Chad and Sudan. There, they face human and livestock expansion, prolonged droughts and hunters.
Edem and Fahima’s newest calf, just like her month-old half-brother, is nursing and behaving normally, enjoying her first weeks exploring her environment. The female calf’s weight climbed two pounds in the first whole week since her birth, a sign of healthy growth and development.
Presently, keepers at the Zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station, are allowing the young calf to bond with her half-brother and mother, as well as her one-year-old sister Asha and 11-year-old grandmother Adara, in an off-exhibit enclosure. The calf is not expected to make her public debut for at least another month.