It’s twins for the Nilgai antelopes!
Completely unfazed by the racket going on next-door as the new orang-utan house is built, our nilgai female Priya gave birth to twins on 1 October. The pair arrived during the day, so our keepers and visitors were able to witness the birth as it happened. Twin births are not unusual for this large species of antelope; in fact, it’s quite common. It was almost a textbook birth, with the two calves, named Duna and Daruk, being born 25 minutes apart. This is mum Priya’s fourth birth. Born in Usti, Priya has been a resident of the India Enclosure at Dresden Zoo since 2016 along with another female, Mayim, and Takur, who arrived from Munich. Nilgais live in large herds consisting of several females and their young, with adult males joining the herd during mating season. Sexual dimorphism is characteristic of nilgai, meaning that males and females look very different physically when they reach maturity. Males have horns, and are considerably bigger. The sexes also have differently coloured coats – females are brown, while males are dark grey and may even have a blue tinge depending on the light. This is where they get their name, incidentally: “nilgai” means “blue bull” in Hindi.