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Getting by with a little help from my (Blackbuck) friends

We’re thrilled to have recently welcomed a very cute new arrival – Stan the baby Blackbuck!

The seven-week-old antelope had a bit of a tough start to life after Stan’s mum didn’t take to motherhood very well and Stan wasn’t able to feed.

Keepers made the difficult decision to hand raise the little calf, and quickly transferred him from the herd to a private yard where he could receive the crucial nutrients he needed.

While it’s always preferred for an animal to be raised by their biological mother, this was the right thing to do for Stan as it was unlikely he would have survived without intervention.

We’re pleased to report Stan is now growing up healthy and strong with the help of a very special Blackbuck friend.

Knowing that Blackbuck are a highly social species, keeping staff made the decision to transfer another young Blackbuck from Adelaide Zoo to keep Stan company.

Willow, who is now almost nine months old, was removed from the Monarto herd like Stan after she was observed to not be feeding well from her mother.

She was transferred to Adelaide Zoo where the dedicated Children’s Zoo keepers were able to give her the care she needed to gain strength and thrive.

Now she’s all grown up and has returned to Monarto to teach Stan all the social skills he’ll need when he rejoins the herd.

The two cuties share the private yard where Stan can be seen following Willow around and copying her behaviours.

As a growing Blackbuck, Stan absolutely loves meal times and enjoys specialised antelope milk three times a day, which has been specially formulated to imitate the nutrient-rich milk he would be receiving from his mum.

The Blackbuck friends then share lots of fresh hay, grass and small branches.

Providing Stan with strong, fiborous foods at a young age is vital to making sure his jaw muscles and teeth are strong and well-developed.

Stan can often be seen galloping all over the place, which is great practice for an animal that will grow to reach over 80 kilometres per hour!

When the little calf is ready, both himself and Willow will rejoin the 30-strong herd at Monarto Zoo.

Hand raising animals like Stan and Willow until they’re strong and healthy enough to be integrated back into the herd requires strong commitment from our ungulates team and is a huge accomplishment.

Sadly, Blackbuck in the wild are facing increased destruction of their grassland and woodland habitats for agricultural purposes.

Blackbuck are also illegally hunted for their spectacular sweeping horns.

As a conservation charity, we’re proud to be doing our bit in securing the future of this fascinating antelope, having bred over 300 Blackbuck at Monarto Zoo.

While Stan and Willow are currently behind the scenes, once on exhibit you’ll be able to see them exploring the Asia habitat during the Zu-Loop bus tour.

Welcome to the family, little Stan!


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Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

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