LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - We now know the name of the baby addax born at the Louisville Zoo nearly three months ago.
Louisville Zoo officials chose the name, Jira (GEE-ra), which translates to “anticipation” in Hausa. Hausa is the most widely spoken language in Niger, which is the only region where the addax remain today.
Jira’s birth was part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which helps maintain the genetic diversity of managed animal populations. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the Saharan addax as critically endangered. In 2016, field researchers estimated that less than 100 of these mammals remain in the remnant wild due to poaching and habitat disturbances from oil exploration.
Jura was born on May 8, while the Zoo was closed for the coronavirus pandemic. Zoo staff members say that she is “independent and curious.”
Louisville Zoo guests can visit Jira and the other addax on exhibit daily in the yard located near the bongo and elephant exhibits in the African zone.
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