80.5 F
74.6 F
74.7 F
70.5 F

Montgomery Zoo adds to its African Realm with four Nile lechwe antelopes

The Montgomery Zoo is set to unveil a bachelor herd of four Nile lechwe. The African antelope, the first of its species, will be introduced to the public on July 19.

According to a release, these antelope are native to hot, wet climates in Africa, such as the Bahr-el-Ghazel district of the Southern Sudan and in Machar Gambella marshes of Ethiopia. The four antelope at Montgomery Zoo are named Zap, Sjambok, Rungu and Kaskara.

Until males reach maturity, they and the females have the same blonde color. The males’ coats change from blonde to dark brown with a white patch on the back of their necks as they grow into adults.

It is natural for the lechwe to form small bachelor herd groups. The Montgomery Zoo hopes to create a breeding environment for the species in the future. However, no current plans for breeding have been made.

Animal Care manager Andi Clason said in an announcement, “Their behavior, adaptations, and unique looks make them a wonderful addition to the African Forest area. They are equipped to be semi-aquatic and utilize every bit of their new habitat. We are proud to welcome this bachelor herd and look forward to the opportunity to pique guest interest in them as well.”

Nile lechwe are labeled as endangered species with an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 remaining in their natural habitat.

The four lechwes being unveiled at the Montgomery Zoo’s African Forest display are from White Oak Conservation Facility in Yulee, Florida.

Daily operating hours for the zoo are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.