Ronan is back with the herd
Wednesday 18 August 2004
Ronan the roan antelope is now happily integrated with the herd, after being hand reared by keepers. Until recently, he was kept in a separate paddock with his mother
The Park's keepers had to step in as Ronan's mother didn't have enough milk to suckle him. They bottle-fed him three times a day until he was old enough to eat grass and adult pellet feed.
Ronan is still the runt of the herd, and has some catching up to do before he reaches his brother's height. He's now about five feet high, and should reach his full height of eight or nine feet in the coming months.
"There is always a concern that a hand-reared animal will not be accepted back into the herd, but Ronan was gradually introduced to the other animals and is now forming friendships," said David Field, Curator of mammals at Whipsnade.
Roan antelope Ronan and his half-brother
The Roan antelope is one of the largest African antelope. They have long, tufted ears, backward-curving horns and an erect mane. They are found across Africa, but their numbers are declining rapidly due to poaching and habitat loss.
Keeping a healthy captive population of animals, like the Roan antelope, is essential in safeguarding the continued survival of a variety of endangered species. ZSL actively participates in global breeding programmes to support worldwide conservation efforts.