News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
August 31, 2023

Note: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Nyala Calf Born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. — For the second time in less than a year, Brookfield Zoo’s nyalas (pronounced nee·ah·luh)—Zola and Hamilton—are parents to a calf. Born August 29 in the antelopes’ outdoor habitat, guests can see the 14-pound male calf, his mom, and other members of the herd that include Zola’s two other offspring, nearly 3-year-old Leah and 9-month-old Zuri.

The pairing of 4-year-old Zola and 3-year-old Hamilton was based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ 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 nearly 100 nyalas in 16 accredited North American zoos.

The nyala is one of the most sexually dimorphic antelopes in the world, meaning the males and females differ in appearance. The male, which is twice the size as the female, has a shaggy dark brown to slate gray coat with diminished body stripes, long hairs along its underparts, and a mane of thick black long hairs. Whereas, the female nyala is rust brown in color with distinctive vertical white markings. The male calf at Brookfield Zoo won’t get his adult coloring until he is 10 to 14 months old. Also, only the male has the impressive yellow-tipped spiraled horns that can grow to between 2½ to nearly 3 feet long.

Native to southeastern Africa, the shy and cautious medium-sized antelope, lives in dense thickets, forests, and open-thicket woodlands in Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the nyala population is stable and is listed as “least concern.” However, the species still has threats, including habitat loss due to agriculture and cattle grazing and hunting.

#      #      #

Photo Captions (credit: Jim Schulz/CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
5174, 5189, 5230, 5267, and 5275: A male nyala calf born at Brookfield Zoo on August 29 can been seen in the antelopes’ habitat with his mom and other members of the herd.

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people 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