New rare zoo arrival a shy one

Last updated 14:49 22/08/2012
SHY ONE: A new baby Nyala stays well camouflaged amongst the flax at Wellington Zoo.

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Wellington Zoo's newest arrival is still hiding well out of public view, unaware of its place in history.

The baby nyala, a type of African antelope, entered the world about midday Monday, and is only the second to be born in Australasia.

Life science manager Elise Kovac said the lamb would stay close to its mother for the first few days, but may venture out into public view after about a week.

''Mum will feed her several times a day and keep her nice and protected in the flax bushes. It's the safest place for a little lamb.''

It is the second nyala born at Wellington Zoo, which welcomed the first in Australasia in October 2011. It now has a colony of five.

Staff at the zoo knew 3-year-old mum Zuri was pregnant, but were not sure when she was due.

''She had a stillborn 14 months ago so it's wonderful that she has been able to carry another one to full term,'' Ms Kovac said. ''This one will be a great little addition to the family.''

The lamb would be left in its mother's care to see how it develops over the next few weeks.

The nyala breeding programme was going well, and the zoo planned to bring another male in from Singapore later this year, Ms Kovac said

Contact Kerry McBride
Metro and Capital Day reporter
Twitter: @kerry_mcbride


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