A water buck baby!
Thursday 16 September 2004
Keepers at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park are celebrating the birth of the first water buck calf of the year, which was born at midday on Sunday 12 September. Both the new calf and his mother are doing fine in the white rhino house, where the calf will stay for up to a month until he is strong enough to join the herd
We have five female water bucks and a male in the white rhino enclosure at Whipsnade, along with seven rhinos, and the roan antelope. And we're hoping for two or three more calves this year. In the wild, he would only stay with his mother for eight or nine months, before joining a bachelor herd with other males.
Water bucks are antelopes from south of the Sahara in Africa, and can be easily recognised by a distinctive white band on the rump and the long, bow-shaped horns of the male. They have glands in their skin which release a musky-smelling oil secretion, to help protect their coat.
Although they are called water buck, they don't actually like swimming. They live in savannah, woodland and stony hills, but always near rivers and streams, as they like to drink regularly.
Water buck are not yet endangered in the wild in Africa, but their population has fallen dramatically in recent years because of over hunting and habitat destruction.
Why not come and see our new calf in the rhino house with his mother and the rest of the herd on your next visit to Whipsnade.