Unique antelope species is critically endangered in the wild.
Making their debut at the zoo, Franklin and Marshall are the first of their species to call Denver home. The zoo introduced the duo in late September, and they are in their habitat and ready for the public to see.
These white antelope, also known as the screwhorn antelope, have reached critically endangered status in the wild as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Fewer than 100 are thought to be left on their historic range in the Saharan Desert, due to predation, overhunting, and oil exploration. The addax was once abundant in North Africa, native to Chad, Mauritania, and Niger. It is extinct in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and the western Sahara. It has been reintroduced in Morocco and Tunisia.
“As with other ungulates of the Sahelo-Saharan fauna, the Addax has undergone an unprecedented reduction in geographical range (up to 99%) over the past century, says the IUCN. The only known remaining population thought to be viable survives in the Termit/Tin Toumma region of Niger.”
There are a number of captive breeding programs throughout the world, some which provide genetics to help boost the wild populations.
“Please join us in welcoming Franklin and Marshall! Denver Zoo is proud to care for these unique antelope and help ensure the health and survival of addax in the future,” the zoo relates.
You can watch them make their public debut in their outdoor yard on the zoo’s Facebook page.