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New at the Zoo

There are always new arrivals at the L.A. Zoo. Some births are a happy surprise, but most are carefully planned as part of our efforts to save endangered and vulnerable species.

male peninsular pronghorn arrives

The Zoo recently welcomed a new male peninsular pronghorn (a.k.a. berrendo)! He has joined the females as a breeding recommendation through a cooperative program that is working to create a sustainable population in human care with the eventual goal of releasing the endangered species into the wild.

The new male pronghorn will be paired with females from the Zoo’s current herd. Photo by Jamie Pham

Bowie’s journey to us has been in stages. Like all peninsular pronghorns, he first underwent a federally mandated quarantine that was “quite a commitment,” says Director of Animal Programs Beth Schaefer. “They have to stay in our quarantine facility for six months,” she explains, a very long process compared to other mammals because the pronghorns are being imported from a native area and we don’t know their medical history.

Once Bowie was through the quarantine period, he transferred to the herd’s habitat and found a large group of females waiting for him. “Eventually he will be paired with a few of our current females,” says Senior Keeper Jonnie Greslie-Stroud. Still, “It will be a little bit before he is introduced to the females he will be paired with,” she notes. “Breeding season is typically summer to early fall.”

To help him make the transition and ease some biological pressure, keepers allowed him to remain close by the females but separate in the pronghorn barn. Once he’s ready, he’ll join the others. For now, Bowie is “active and curious,” Greslie-Stroud observes. “He is settling in well.”

New News Is Good News

In collaboration with other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the L.A. Zoo ensures that animal populations in human care are sustainable – healthy, biodiverse, and exhibiting the natural behaviors that would be essential for survival in the wild. That means births and new arrivals at the Zoo are good news! Many species, including the black-footed ferret, Arabian oryx, Spix’s macaw, and the California condor, have been restored to the wild thanks to these efforts.