WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The National Zoo is set to reopen to the public on May 21. While many people are excited to see the baby panda, the zoo is announcing another new baby animal in their exhibits: a male Lesser Kudu.
The Cheetah Conservation Station keepers found the baby boy on March 29. He was born overnight on March 28 to his parents, 7-year-old Rogue and 10-year-old Garrett. The family now has three calves, with older brothers Kushukuru and Toba born in January and October 2019 respectively.
The calf and Rogue have been bonding behind the scenes in a quiet enclosure, with Toba joining them in the evenings. Animal care staff said Toba was there for the birth. Garrett and Kushukuru see, hear and smell the calf through a mesh window, and keepers are excited to see how the new calf will learn from his father and brothers as he continues to grow.
Lesser Kurus are native to arid and semi-arid areas of northeastern Africa, including parts of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. The species is listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with a decreasing population at about 100,000 in the wild.
While the zoo reopens on May 21, people can begin reserving their free timed-entry passes or paid parking passes on May 14.