A Thomson’s gazelle born at BIOPARC Valencia in late July is doing well after rejecting her mother’s attempts to breastfeed her.

In the first hours of the calf’s life, staff used specially installed cameras to monitor her health as part of a protocol to encourage natural behaviour without any human presence.

They noticed a serious issue that the calf would not breastfeed and therefore was getting weak.

With previous similar experiences it was decided to feed the youngster by human hand via a bottle but it took a bit of time and patience for her to accept it, which she eventually did.

The calf is weighed every day before her first feed and the amount of food with mixtures of fresh and evaporated milk is steadily increased to boost her growth and her immune system.

The staff even imitate her mother’s behaviour during feedings so that at the same time she performs her essential toilet duties.

She will be gradually reintegrated with the rest of the gazelles to continue her development.


BIOPARC Valencia is involved in the international Thomson’s gazelle conservation programme with a group made up of one male and five females, plus the new calf.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has the Thomson’s gazelle on its Red List of endangered species, so work is essential to ensure its survival.

The Thomson’s gazelle is named after the 19th century British explorer Joseph Thomson with around 200,000 of them in their native Africa.

It is fourth-fastest land animal and can reach speeds of up to 90 kilometres an hour.


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