Reid Park Zoo Welcomes a Herd of Speke’s Gazelle
Speke-ing of Zoo News, We Have an Announcement to Share!
Reid Park Zoo recently welcomed a herd of three male Speke’s gazelle. The trio are living in the grassland habitat with our white rhinoceros and crowned cranes. Their names are Hamilton, Cameo, and Dublin and they came to us from Saint Louis Zoo.
Speke’s gazelle are a small species of antelope from Somalia. They only weigh around 30 pounds! In the wild Speke’s gazelle form small breeding herds with one dominant male and several females. Young males that are unable to compete for females band together to form bachelor herds. Our new bachelor herd is made up of three young brothers that are all between one and three years old. Just like in the wild, you can see them sticking close together as they graze throughout their habitat.
Speke’s gazelle are endangered and their populations are decreasing. As recently as the 1980’s Speke’s gazelle were one of the most numerous gazelles in Somalia. Since then their population has decreased from hunting, livestock grazing, and civil war. There are currently no conservation efforts for Speke’s gazelle in their native range, making ex-situ conservation, or conservation outside of their homeland like in zoos, critically important. We are happy to provide a home for these special gazelles at Reid Park Zoo and to continue to collaborate with other zoos to best manage the zoo population of Speke’s gazelle!