L.A. Zoo Announces Birth of Rare Peninsular Pronghorns

News Release
March 23, 2010

**MEDIA ADVISORY**
CONTACT: Elizabeth Leider / Elizabeth.leider@lacity.org
(323) 644-4273

L.A. Zoo Announces Birth of Rare Peninsular Pronghorns


The Los Angeles Zoo is proud to announce the births of two rare Peninsular (pen-in-sue-lar) pronghorn twins. The pair has been pulled for hand rearing in the Zoo’s nursery to ensure that they are given every opportunity to thrive.

On February 26, 2010, two Peninsular pronghorns, one male and one female, were born. This is the third pair of pronghorn twins born at the L.A. Zoo, the other pairs were born in March 2008 and March 2009. So far the L.A. Zoo is the only institution in the U.S. to breed this rare species. Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, these graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk.

This birth is a great leap for conservation efforts of this critically endangered species because one of the two fawns is female; the first female born in the United States. Breeding efforts in the U.S. have been hindered due to a lack of females. “Before this pair, we had two sets of twins born here, all males,” explains Curator of Mammals Jeff Holland. “The only way the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP) could keep moving forward is if we got a female fawn.” Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this species.

Newborn pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.

Typically, a pronghorn mother will have one or two fawns weighing in at around seven or eight pounds. When they reach adulthood, pronghorns weigh up to 125 pounds and reach a height of 35 inches. The females are usually 10 to 25 percent smaller then males.

The Los Angeles Zoo is partnered with the Vizcaino Desert Biosphere Reserve and the Mexican Government in the PPRP. Since 2000, the Zoo has provided both financial assistance as well as personnel support to the PPRP. The Zoo’s breeding herd is a part of the Species Survival Plan for Peninsular pronghorns.

The Los Angeles Zoo is proud to announce the births of two rare Peninsular (pen-in-sue-lar) pronghorn twins. The pair has been pulled for hand rearing in the Zoo’s nursery to ensure that they are given every opportunity to thrive.

On February 26, 2010, two Peninsular pronghorns, one male and one female, were born. This is the third pair of pronghorn twins born at the L.A. Zoo, the other pairs were born in March 2008 and March 2009. So far the L.A. Zoo is the only institution in the U.S. to breed this rare species. Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, these graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk.

This birth is a great leap for conservation efforts of this critically endangered species because one of the two fawns is female; the first female born in the United States. Breeding efforts in the U.S. have been hindered due to a lack of females. “Before this pair, we had two sets of twins born here, all males,” explains Curator of Mammals Jeff Holland. “The only way the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP) could keep moving forward is if we got a female fawn.” Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this species.

Newborn pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer.

Typically, a pronghorn mother will have one or two fawns weighing in at around seven or eight pounds. When they reach adulthood, pronghorns weigh up to 125 pounds and reach a height of 35 inches. The females are usually 10 to 25 percent smaller then males.

The Los Angeles Zoo is partnered with the Vizcaino Desert Biosphere Reserve and the Mexican Government in the PPRP. Since 2000, the Zoo has provided both financial assistance as well as personnel support to the PPRP. The Zoo’s breeding herd is a part of the Species Survival Plan for Peninsular pronghorns.

The pronghorns will be available to the media on Wednesday, March 24 from 9:30 A.M till 12:00 P.M. If you plan on filming these animals please arrive early as they are most active in the morning. Park in the Zoo’s main lot and proceed to the bus circle where a cart will transport you to their habitat. To request photos or RSVP please call (323) 644-4273.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $13 for adults and $8 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L. A. Zoo Web site at http://www.lazoo.org

“Nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience”

Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles
California 90027
323/644-4273
Fax 323/644-4240
http://www.lazoo.org

John R. Lewis
Zoo Director

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