BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – Visitors to the Brevard Zoo were treated to a rare sight last Saturday when klipspringer Deborah gave birth to a female calf on the Expedition Africa habitat.
The newborn was seen by some eagle-eyed guests but was soon moved to a private area to give Deborah and her baby time to bond.
On Tuesday, the zoo’s veterinary staff performed a neonatal exam on the newborn and reported that the little one is in good health and weighed just over 2 pounds.
Animal care staff have observed the calf nursing and noted that Deborah is being a great mom.
This is Deborah’s sixth offspring with her mate Ajabu, who is eight years old. None of their previous offspring currently reside at the zoo.
The pair are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP), which aims to maintain the genetic diversity of animal groups in AZA-accredited facilities.
The zoo’s animal care staff had been monitoring Deborah’s progress after observing breeding between her and Ajabu.
They tracked her weight and teat development to predict when she would give birth.
Deborah and her calf will remain in a private area for now to give them space to bond. The zoo’s staff will closely monitor the pair and watch for baby milestones and Deborah’s behavior to determine when they can return to their public-facing habitat.
The zoo plans to start with short, supervised visits on habitat before introducing the calf to the other residents of their large yard in Expedition Africa.
While visitors may be eager to catch a glimpse of the new addition, the zoo is prioritizing the well-being and comfort of Deborah and her calf as they adjust to their new life together.