Published July 30, 2020
We’re excited to welcome the newest member of our Plains family. Greater kudu JoJo gave birth to an adorable female calf named Halisi in the wee hours of July 20. JoJo is an incredible, experienced mom, so she had her newborn standing and cleaned before our Zookeepers arrived that morning.
The baby, whose name means “real” or “true” in Swahili, is following her mom and nursing well. This is the sixth calf for JoJo.
Greater kudus are native to eastern and southern Africa. These woodland antelopes can weigh up to 600 pounds, however females are noticeably smaller than males. Our new cutie weighed 33.7 pounds at birth.
Against the arid landscape of the African savannah, the kudu’s tan coat marked with thin, white stripes offers great camouflage to protect against predators.
In the wild, female kudus will form groups of mothers and calves. Moms will give birth in areas of tall grass that provide the babies with protection from predators, which is especially important during the first few weeks. During that time, kudu mothers spend most of their time grazing and only tend to the calves for short periods to nurse. When the calf is a little older, mom returns and the two spend the next several months together bonding.
Our mother-daughter duo has started venturing outside to a small yard next to their barn, and JoJo watches her calf attentively. Guests may catch a glimpse of them there from the bridge on the west side of Plains. Soon they’ll begin going into the large Plains yard with the rest of the herd, which also includes the calf’s grandmother Taraja.
Zoo Babies are presented by Hendricks Regional Health.
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