PENINSULAR PRONGHORN FAWNS NOW ON EXHIBIT AT THE EL PASO ZOO
Birth Significant for Species; Species in Only Four Zoos in the United States
El Paso, TX (May 23, 2014) – Four Peninsular pronghorn fawns are now on exhibit at the El Paso Zoo for guests to visit. Two sets of twins were born at the Zoo; Mario and Peach were born on April 9 and Luigi and Yoshi on May 3. The fawns and their mothers, Martina and Princess, have been off exhibit to allow the fawns to bond with their mothers and get used to their new exhibit.
“Yoshi and Luigi, the younger fawns, are quite energetic and like running around the exhibit. The older fawns have already learned to look after them and herd them around,” said Kenny Riley, Area Senior Keeper.
Keepers have been working to ensure that the fawns are comfortable in their area. Both pairs of twins are becoming comfortable with keepers and even come as close as three feet from them.
The El Paso Zoo is one of only four zoos in the United States involved in the management of endangered peninsular pronghorns. Only 250 remain in the wild and 28 live in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos with the El Paso Zoo housing 25% of the population.
“It’s incredible to have this species at our Zoo for guests to see and learn about. We have made the commitment to work with a few other zoos in the U.S. to help save this rare desert species that is critically endangered,” said Steve Marshall, El Paso Zoo Director.
Pronghorns are among the world’s fastest land animals, with the ability to run up to 40-60 mph. Their running ability nearly rivals the speed of the cheetah clocked at up to 70 mph.Pronghorns have survived in North America since the Pleistocene age (10,000 to 1.8 million years ago) when they lived during the time of extinct ground sloths, short-faced bears, tapirs, camels and mammoths.
The births are part of a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP)to aid in the species’ conservation. Peninsular pronghorns are recognized as critically endangered.
About El Paso Zoo
Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the Foster Tree House Playground, African Star train, the Hunt Family Desert Spring water feature and Giraffe Encounters. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo), Twitter (www.twitter.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).