News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
March 2, 2023
 NOTE: Scroll down to end of press release to download photos.


Nyala Calf Born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. — One of Brookfield Zoo’s newest additions—a 3-month old female nyala (pronounced nī-ah-la) calf—has been able to enjoy the temporary spring-like temperatures before the weather potentially takes a turn for the worse tomorrow.

Since her birth on December 5, 2022, the calf has been behind the scenes bonding with her 4-year-old mother, Zola, and just recently has been given access to their outdoor habitat with the rest of the herd that includes Hamilton, the calf’s sire; Merry; and Leah. The pairing of Zola and Hamilton was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation 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.

Both male and female nyala reach sexual maturity at about a year old. Peak breeding seasons are in the spring and fall. Following a 7-month gestation, the female gives birth to usually one offspring.

The species is considered the most sexually dimorphic among the spiral-horned antelopes. Some of the differences between the genders are female nyala have a fawn color coat while the males are dark brown to gray. Also, males are larger than the females and have the impressive long inward spiraling horns. Both sexes have vertical white stripes, although they are more prominent on the females.

While nyala are considered common in southern African countries, including Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, the species still has threats to its population. These are habitat loss due to agriculture and cattle grazing and hunting.

Currently, there are nearly 90 nyala in 16 accredited North American zoos. The species is fairly new to Brookfield Zoo, the first arriving in 2019.

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Photos (credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
37, 7663, and 9867: A 3-month-old nyala calf born at Brookfield Zoo can be seen in her outdoor habitat more frequently as the weather warms.

7719: A 3-month-old nyala calf and her mom, Zola, at Brookfield Zoo.

9861: A 3-month-old nyala calf getting some exercise as she runs past her mom, Zola, in her outdoor habitat at Brookfield Zoo.

9896: A 3-month-old nyala calf with her parents, Zola and Hamilton, at Brookfield Zoo.

9910: A 3-month-old nyala calf born at Brookfield Zoo on December 5, 2022, with Hamilton, the calf’s sire.

9963: A 3-month-old nyala calf with her mother, Zola (middle), and Merry at Brookfield Zoo.

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people to 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. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. 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 also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, and the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association. Brookfield 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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