MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Zoo Miami is proudly announcing a new addition to their animal family this week.
On Tuesday, a baby Steenbok was born at the zoo. An African Steenbok is a very small species of antelope.
Zoo staff physically examined the newborn on Wednesday during its neonatal exam. In addition to checking the overall condition of the neonate, the exam included collecting a blood sample and inserting a microchip to help ensure future identification.
The female fawn weighed 3 pounds and appears to be in excellent health.
Because Steenboks are naturally extremely nervous animals and in keeping with the recommendations of the Steenbok Species Survival Plan managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the baby will be hand-raised by the Animal Science staff to help promote a more relaxed behavior under human care. This is the third Steenbok born at Zoo Miami. The parents are a two ½ year old female and a three ½ year old male.
When full grown, Steenboks only weigh about 26 pounds. They are common throughout Southern Africa. They prefer open savannahs and grasslands where they feed on a variety of grasses, leaves, berries and seeds. They are known to pair for life with relatively small territories. Only the male grows short, straight horns. Their main defense is lying motionless in the grass where their coloration makes them practically invisible. Because they are so small, Steenbok are hunted by a wide variety of predators ranging from leopards and hyenas to eagles and snakes.
The Steenbok are presently off-exhibit at the zoo and will eventually be introduced to a public exhibit in combination with another species of African antelope.