Over 150 animals have been born at the National Rabat Zoo since January this year, including a number of threatened species.
Rabat – A zebra, nine addax, eight Barbary sheep, eight servals, eight Dorcas gazelles, eight Bald ibis, and a Dama gazelle were born, amongst other animals, said the Rabat Zoo in a press release.
Some of these animals are critically endangered. The Dama gazelle, the largest of all gazelles, is also one of the rarest. Once common in Chad and the Darfur and Kordofar provinces of Sudan, fewer than 400 of these gazelles remain in the wild.
The Bald ibis is a migratory bird found in semi-arid habitats. The bird can be spotted in the Souss-Massa and Tamri regions in southern Morocco. Thanks to record breeding results there, the birds status was downgraded in 2018 from critically endangered status to endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Five Scimitar oryx were also born at the Rabat Zoo this year. Also known as the Saharan oryx, the species was once widespread across North Africa but became extinct in the wild in 2000.
The births of the animals this year are the result of a strategy by the Rabat Zoo to ensure the reproduction of its species, in accordance with international standards of conservation.
The zoo has a conservation program in place, targeting especially the endemic species of Morocco including the saharan antelopes and Bald ibis, in an aim to rebuild population numbers and to reintroduce them into their wild habitats.
The Rabat Zoo has over 150 different breeds of animals.