Kansas zoo welcomes adorable addax calves

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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KAKE) -

A zoo in southwest Kansas announced the arrival of two breathtakingly cute addax calves. 

The Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City says the first calf was born Saturday and the second came along Wednesday. They weighed 15 and 16 pounds, respectively. 

"The healthy fifteen-pound baby was the first offspring born to Penelope, who was born at Lee Richardson Zoo on 5 January 2015 to Juno who was a first-time mom," the zoo said in a news release. "The healthy sixteen-pound baby was the second calf born to mom Juno since her arrival at Lee Richardson Zoo.  So, Juno, who came to us from Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina, KS, became a mom and a grandmother in the same week. The proud father of both addax calves is Dobby, who came to us from The Louisville Zoo in Louisville, Kentucky."

Both babies were born in a barn and had remained in the barn or holding area with their mothers since then due to inclement weather. Over the next few weeks, with warmer temperatures, the calves and mothers will be outside in their African Plains exhibit during the day.

"The calves are a welcome addition as it provides hope for the critically endangered wild addax population. Fewer than 300 are thought to remain in the wild.  Thirteen captive-bred addaxes were released in Tunisia in 2007 to re-establish the species in its native habitat."

The zoo says the addax is a large antelope native to the Sahara Desert and well-adapted to the harsh desert climate. Poaching, severe droughts, and habitat loss are the main threats to the addax.

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