Many animals reside in the National Zoo, but not all can be regarded as living representations of qualities we regard as attractive. So apart from its value in species conservation, the recent birth of a gazelle there may lift the hearts of all of us.
A gazelle, it may be recalled, is said to be the embodiment of grace. Graceful as a gazelle is the oft-heard phrase. On Thursday, the zoo announced that, on Sept. 7, it welcomed a new male dama gazelle.
It was born in an off-exhibit enclosure at the zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station. In a tweet, the zoo identified its mother as Zafira and its father as Edem.
The same tweet offered this description of the newborn: adorable.
So far, the zoo said, the new addition was doing well and bonding with its mother.
According to the zoo, the dama gazelle is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Less than 500 dama gazelles remain, the zoo said.
Expansion of human and livestock populations have cut into its habitat. Hunting and drought have also increased the pressures on the animals.
Disappointingly, even the protection of the Smithsonian and its Conservation Biology Institute has not always been enough.
In January 2016, it was reported that three coyotes killed a dama gazelle at the institute’s premises in Front Royal, Va.
In a few weeks, the zoo said, the newborn gazelle will make his debut before the public.