Have you herd? We have a new member of our Plains family! Greater kudu Jojo gave birth to a female calf on July 17. As it was the hottest day of 2019 to that point, our Zookeepers chose the name Caliente, which means “hot”.
Both mother and baby are doing great! This is the fifth calf for Jojo, who is a caring and attentive mother to her newborn. Caliente has already started going outside to the large Plains yard with the rest of the herd, and Jojo keeps a watchful eye as she explores. At birth, the baby weighed about 31 pounds, and she’s growing quickly. Female kudus can grow to weigh around 370 pounds and reach maturity within about two years.
While female kudus are slightly smaller than males, the easiest way to distinguish them is by the horns. Only males, like Caliente’s father Bakari, develop the magnificent spiraling horns.
Greater kudus are native to eastern and southern Africa, where they eat grass, leaves, and other short plants on the plains. In Africa, female kudus will form groups together with their calves, but break away when it is time to give birth. A mother kudu will pick an area of tall grass to give birth to hide her newborn from predators, and babies will be up and walking within a few hours of birth. After a few weeks, the mother and her calf will return to the herd where they will spend several months bonding together.
Zoo Babies are presented by Hendricks Regional Health.
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