The baby was born on March 28 to parents Rogue and Garrett.
The National Zoo encountered a welcome surprise last month, and it was while everyone was sleeping: a baby Lesser kudu!
In a news release Thursday, the zoo announced the birth of a male calf, which took place overnight on March 28. He's the third child of 7-year-old Rogue and 10-year-old Garrett, whose offspring includes two sons, Toba and Kushukuru. Right now, he's spending quality time with mom in a quiet enclosure away from the exhibit. He's a cutie pie!
Lesser kudus, which are a type of antelope, originate from the Northeastern region of Africa. They weigh between 130 and 230 pounds and stand at 35 to 43 inches. Though the graceful animal number around 100,000 in the wild, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies them as "Near Threatened" because of factors such as hunting, disease, and habitat displacement. Their average lifespan in the wild is 10 to 15 years, but under the supervision of human care they can live up to 20 years.
Courtesy of the National Zoo
According to the care team, it appears mother and son are successfully bonding. Recent developments also show Garrett is showing up in his role as a father and will likely have a positive influence on the new calf, along with his older brothers. Currently, Toba has been visiting his baby brother since he was there for his birth, while Garrett and Kushukuru can check out the new calf through a mesh panel. No name has been reported yet, but if past animal births have been any indication, there'll likely be a contest to vote on a possible name. Crossing our fingers this is the case!
The happy news coincides with the zoo's reopening next month on May 21. Visitors can start reserving free timed-entry passes on May 14, as well as special passes to see the Asia Trail exhibit featuring the Giant Pandas. Between the plethora of adorable baby animals and the long-awaited opening, we are beyond excited.
You can find out more about it here.
Congratulations, Rogue and Garrett!
Are you excited to visit the National Zoo once again? Leave a comment telling us what your favorite exhibit is.