Rare desert gazelles: the gazelles of the Moscow Zoo gave birth to young

July 1
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In the Center for the Reproduction of Rare Animal Species of the Moscow Zoo, which is located near Volokolamsk, the young of Persian gazelles - artiodactyls from the genus of gazelles were born. This species is listed in the International Red Book and belongs to the vulnerable category. According to zoologists, there are only about 140 thousand individuals in the wild, and the population continues to steadily decline.

"Different zoos of the world are fighting for the preservation of a rare species, creating its reserve population in captivity. The Moscow Zoo is also working on obtaining the gazelles offspring. This year, two gazelles gave a birth to young. Both gave a birth to a couple of babies: a male and a female. Our zoologists have already conducted an initial examination and determined that all four newborns are healthy," Svetlana Akulova, General Director of the Moscow Zoo, said.

Now the babies have grown up and are already playing with each other, running around the enclosure in a race. They are still fed with mother's milk, but soon they will switch to fresh grass, branches and special compound feed. The favorite delicacy of the gazelles is carrots, apples and pumpkin. One can admire the gazelle babies by watching a short video on mos.ru. In the future, the Moscow Zoo will post photos and videos on its pages in social networks, where young animals get acquainted with the surrounding world.

In total, 11 Persian gazelles live in the Center for the Reproduction of Rare Animal Species. The males were temporarily relocated from the females with their young to another enclosure so that they would not harm the newborns.

Press Service of the Moscow Zoo

The homeland of the gazelles is Iran, western Pakistan, southern Mongolia, Afghanistan, China, Georgia, as well as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other CIS countries. The gazelles prefer to inhabit plains and deserts. The number of these animals is decreasing due to poaching and the destruction of their natural habitat. The Persian gazelles have almost disappeared in Azerbaijan and Turkey, and the livestock in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan has decreased tenfold. In the past, desert gazelles lived in the southern part of Dagestan, but today they are not found there.

Persian gazelles are long-legged animals that can run fast and jump high. They have strong, sharp hooves that allow them to move with equal ease on sand, stones and soil. But they are not adapted to walking on snow, so winter is the most difficult time of the year for Asian gazelles. Their height of the body at the withers is from 60 to 75 centimeters, the weight is from 18 to 30 kilograms. Ungulates are covered with sandy-colored hair, which helps them to blend in the natural landscape. The neck, abdomen and inner parts of the legs are white.

Because of the dark brush on the tail of the Persian gazelle, it is also called ‘black tail’. The young neb is decorated with a bright pattern: dark stripes pass from the eyes to the mouth. With age, after several molts, the ‘mask’ disappears. Unlike other varieties of gazelles, only Persian gazelle males wear horns. Due to their grace, dexterity and impetuosity, these ungulates were often depicted on coins and postage stamps.

Since the Persian gazelles live in desert or semi-desert regions with a poor food reserve, they are unpretentious in food. The basis of their diet is made up of shrub shoots, panic grass, capers, wormwood. In search of water, they constantly migrate within their habitat. They can go without drinking for up to seven days. Gazelles are gregarious animals, but they form a large group (from several dozen to several hundred individuals) only with the approach of cold weather. In such a way it is easier for animals exhausted by cold and hunger to fend off predators: wolves, foxes, golden eagles and vultures. In summer, the Asian gazelles like to be alone or in a small company of relatives.

The life expectancy of wild gazelles reaches about seven years, in captivity - 10 years.

Press Service of the Moscow Zoo

Recently, the Center for the Reproduction of Rare Animal Species of the Moscow Zoo also received a new addition in the family of forest reindeer. This subspecies of reindeer is listed in the International Red Book. According to zoologists, its wild population numbers only about five thousand individuals. The young reindeers born in the center near Volokolamsk are growing fast and getting stronger, soon they will start walking around their large enclosure with the herd.

Source: mos.ru

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