Cincinnati Zoo welcomes first baby of 2024

The Cincinnati Zoo welcomed its first baby of the new year, a lesser kudu calf.

The female calf was born Monday to first-time mom Sabi, the zoo shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. The kudu is a type of antelope.

Keepers and veterinarians didn’t notice any nursing or interest from Sabi, so they intervened to provide nutrients and warmth to the calf.

“The goal is still to reunite mom and baby, but a temporary nursery has been set up in the barn so the zoo’s keeper, vet and neonate staff can provide supportive care,” the Cincinnati Zoo shared.

Zoo staff was also able to give the calf plasma that was collected from the mother during a previous procedure.

“This will provide passive transfer of antibodies,” said Eric Byrd, zoological manager at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The calf is receiving six bottle feedings a day and spending time with the other female kudu, including her grandmother, Fjorda.

“The care team gets daily weights, socializes with her, and makes sure that she stays safe with the adults,” Byrd said.

Sabi is a 2-year-old lesser kudu who came to the zoo last April from the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. Hobbes, a 10-year-old who has been in Cincinnati since 2017, is the father.

Lesser kudu don’t have a fixed breeding season, so births can happen throughout the year, according to the Cincinnati Zoo. Females reach sexual maturity around 15 to 18 months. Their gestation is about seven to eight months and typically results in one calf.

The zoo’s lesser kudu herd is staying behind the scene during the winter months, but the zoo will post updates on the mom and calf on social media.

The zoo is currently celebrating the colder weather with its king penguin parades.

At 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, king penguins march with their keepers from the aviary. The first parade was on Jan. 13 and the last parade is scheduled for Feb. 25.

It must be colder than 50 degrees for the penguins to march.

The zoo said this is the last year for the penguin parades before the aging king penguins retire.

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