Wildlife Baby Boom at Melozhori Private Game Reserve
There is something special about seeing a wild animal being born in its natural habitat. It’s an experience that brings us back to our own beginnings and reminds us of the incredible beauty of the circle of life.
At Melozhori Private Game Reserve we have been privileged to see the arrival of several baby animals over the past few weeks. Here’s a photo blog to share with you some of these special moments!
We are delighted to have spotted some new arrivals to our herd of Burchell’s zebra. The distinctive Burchell’s are non-seasonal breeders – meaning foals can be born in any month of the year. Under optimal conditions however, foals are typically born during the summer months and weigh between 30 – 35kg. It is believed that newborn zebras stay close to their mother to imprint her patterns.
Recently we came across a pair of bat-eared foxes and to our surprise – out popped the tiny fluffy ears of their new pups. As far as taking care of its youngest members, bat-eared foxes give a masterclass in teamwork – with males and females doing their fair share of parental care.
Mothers give birth to up to six babies (sometimes also called kits) and beyond lactation, males take over grooming, defending, huddling, chaperoning, and carrying the young between den sites.
As an endangered species, seeing baby sable antelope in the wild is always a sight to behold! Unlike their parents, sable calves are born with sandy coloured coats to aid in camouflage. Females give birth to only one calf, who lies hidden away for the first week of life while being nursed. As they get older, calves will darken in colour and establish their place in the hierarchy of the sable herd.
Another of our unique species welcomed new members into their families — the black impala. After a gestation period of about six months, females give birth, usually to only one offspring. Calves are cared for in groups called creches. These groups of offspring are like nursery schools for the young impalas – where they play together, groom each other and enjoy greater safety in numbers.
Unique from most other antelope, wildebeest mothers give birth in the herd rather than finding a quiet, secluded spot. Females tend to give birth within weeks of one another. The overabundance of calves allows for more of them to survive predation in the first vulnerable weeks of their lives.
Baby wildebeest are born large and strong – able to walk within minutes of birth. Newborns are a yellowish-brown, but change to adult color at about 2 months. Calves suckle from their mothers for at least four months, though they begin eating grass after about 10 days.
From bat-eared foxes to wildebeest and black impalas, these last few weeks have been filled with joyous occasions here at Melozhori. We hope you enjoyed this photo blog highlighting some of those special moments!
If you’d like to experience this wildlife wonder for yourself, be sure to book your stay. We look forward to welcoming you soon!