Zookeepers are letting African antelopes “do their own thing” in New Orleans

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Just across the Mississippi River from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is a sprawling home to some curious new arrivals.

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Tiny herds of African antelope are being given room to roam on 88 acres of an 1,000-acre parcel of land. The 22 antelope were recently moved here from the San Diego Zoo and its safari park.

“We’re letting them be animals, letting them do their thing,” said Michelle Hatwood, curator for the center, which was jointly established by the Audubon Nature Institute, an umbrella organization that includes the Audubon Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy.

Zookeepers hope the elands, sable antelope, Eastern bongos and yellow-backed duikers will relax and reproduce in the calm environment.

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The new habitat also counts giraffes as residents, and a second phase will introduce wild pigs, barasingha deer and even more antelope to the fold.

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