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Oh Boy! Oh Boy! The Living Desert Welcomes First-Ever Addra Gazelle Calves


Contact: Casandra Staubo
Account Coordinator
(832) 229-6722

PALM DESERT/INDIAN WELLS (January 5, 2022) – The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is proud to announce the birth of a two male addra gazelle calves. The first calf was born on Wednesday, December 29, and the second calf was born this morning, December 31. Both calves were born on habitat.

“The calves and their mothers are each bonding and doing very well,” said Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Head Veterinarian. “They are exploring the habitat and nursing from their mothers; the animal care team will continue to keep a close eye on them.”

The first male calf was born on December 29 and weighed in at 5.7kg (about 12.5lbs) at his well-baby exam. He was born to mom Athena and is her eighth calf.  The second male calf, born to mom Astra on December 31, weighed in at 5.58kg (about 12.3 lbs.) at his well baby-exam. This is also mom Astra’s eighth calf. The Living Desert is home to three female adult addra gazelle and now, two yet-to-be-named male calves. They all reside in the African Grasslands multi-species habitat.

“This was a wonderful way to end 2021 and start 2022. These adorable calves are already so loved. The birth of these calves is a true milestone, not only as our first addra calves born at the Zoo, but also for the preservation of this species,” said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care. “The births are extra special because this species is so endangered.”

Addra gazelle, also known as dama gazelle, are the largest and tallest of the gazelle species, but also the most endangered.  They are native to the savannas of the Sahara desert, and are herbivores that graze on shrubs and grasses.  They are currently listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). With only 200 mature individuals in Africa, this species faces major threats habitat loss and destruction, as well as hunting and prolonged drought.

The births are the result of a recommendation from the addra gazelle Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). SSPs provide breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the human-managed population and the health of individual animals.  There are about 120 addra gazelle in human care throughout the United States.

The Living Desert is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the grounds and gardens opening at 8 a.m. Some attractions require additional fees. Purchase advanced tickets online at or by calling (760) 346-5694.

About the Living Desert:

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is a nonprofit, accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, ensuring the highest standards of all aspects of animal care, education, conservation, public service, and operations. The Zoo is active in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the world, as well as in its own community. The Zoo has been a top destination in the Palm Springs area for over 50 years. The Living Desert is located at 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260. For more information: (760) 346-5694 or visit

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