Our keepers have been busy with two new calves in the past few weeks.
On 11 February our roan antelope, Swala, gave birth to a female calf. The hoofstock team have named her Topaz and she brings our herd of roan antelope to five! In the wild females leave the main herd a few days before giving birth. The mother returns to the herd after about five days, leaving the newborn calf hidden in thick vegetation for up to six weeks. The mother goes back to suckle and clean the calf early in the morning and sometimes also at night.
Earlier this year Tropical House was also greeted by a tiny new addition, a male Javan Chevrotain calf. The little one, now named Gregor, is settling into Tropical House with mum Gertrude. The pair are currently separated from our male, Gus, and the other female Gwendaline. When born, Javan Chevrotain young are the size of a rat, and dark brown. They can run and jump soon after birth and they only occasionally suckle, and only at night!