PALM DESERT, CA – Palm Desert's Living Desert zoo has six new residents: three warthog piglets, an African Crested porcupine, a gazelle calf and a Bighorn sheep lamb, all born in March, the zoo announced Friday.
"We are so excited to welcome all of these spring babies," said Allen Monroe, Living Desert president and CEO. "Each birth represents an important step in the conservation of these desert species."
The most recent addition to the zoo's population is a male Bighorn sheep lamb born Tuesday, the second Bighorn lamb born at the zoo this year. Bighorn sheep are also endangered, with North American populations at around 70,000 today.
The three warthogs were born March 9 after a gestation period of almost six months and can be seen outside of their den in the Village WaTuTu exhibit. It is the second birth for parents Squiggy and Leia, who had two boy piglets last March.
A male African Crested porcupette was born March 10 to long-time Living Desert residents Skittles and Nasura, the couple's seventh baby during their stay at the zoo.
A Cuvier's gazelle male calf was born March 23, the first calf for his mother, Belle and the fourth for father Francois. The calf's birth is especially significant not only because it is the first Cuvier's gazelle born at the zoo since 2011, but also because Cuvier's gazelles are listed as an endangered species and are extinct in many regions, according to zoo officials.
"The birth of the Cuvier's gazelle is a great asset for the future of the species' human-care population," said Living Desert senior animal care manager Wendy Enright. "Each birth is important and the calf will help provide genetic diversity to our managed populations."