News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
August 17, 2023
NOTE: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Critically Endangered African Antelope born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. —  On the afternoon of August 8, guests who were lucky enough to be visiting the antelopes’ outdoor habitats on the northwest side of Brookfield Zoo were able to witness the birth of an approximately 15-pound male addax calf. This is the third addax born at the Zoo in just over a year. The species is at serious risk of becoming extinct in the wild with estimates of possibly less than 100 individuals of the critically endangered African antelope remaining in the wild.

This is the first calf for the mother, nearly 4-year-old Ivy, and the fifth for the 9-year-old sire, Ishnala. Brookfield Zoo, which was the first zoo in the United States to have an addax birth in 1941, has had more than 140 births of this species since 1935. The pairing of Ivy and Ishnala was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently, there are most likely more addax in zoos than in the wild with more than 160 individuals being cared for in 22 AZA accredited facilities.

The addax, a nomadic desert-living ungulate, or hoofed mammal, were once found throughout northern Africa, but is now known to only exist in Chad, Mauritania, and Niger. Threats to the population include uncontrolled hunting for their impressive spiraling horns, meat, and hide and disturbance to its habitat for oil exploration.

The addax is also known as white or screwhorn antelope for its white coat and impressive spiraling and twisted horns that range from 2½ to 3½ feet in length. It is a true desert-adapted antelope—the only one of its genus (species group). Addax are able to get water from the plants they eat. Additionally, they have broad flat hooves that keep them from sinking in the desert sand.

Considered a “hider or nesting species,” those planning to visit Brookfield Zoo in the coming weeks may see the calf laying down. If the calf isn’t visible, it may be indoors behind the scenes. An addax calf will nurse from its mother while standing until about 15 weeks of age after which it will suckle while kneeling down. Nursing lasts between 23 and 39 weeks.

Those interested in helping care for the addax at Brookfield Zoo can contribute to the Animal Adoption program. For $35, a recipient receives the Basic Package, which includes a 5-by-7-inch color photograph of an addax, a personalized certificate of adoption, a fact sheet on the species, an Animal Adoption program decal, and an invitation to the exclusive 2023 Animal Adoption summer event. To purchase, visit

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 Photo Captions (credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
0212, 0362, 0406, 80928394: A male addax calf born at Brookfield Zoo on August 8, 2023.
7936, 7938, and 8054: A male addax calf with his mother, 4-year-old Ivy. The calf was born at Brookfield Zoo on August 8, 2023. The African antelope is critically endangered in its native Africa due to uncontrolled hunting for their impressive spiraling horns, meat, and hide and disturbance to its habitat for oil exploration.

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The Zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit



Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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