The National Zoo humanely euthanized its 13-day-old Addra (dama) gazelle fawn Aug. 7. The fawn, a male, was born on exhibit in front of visitors. Cheetah Conservation Station keepers and Zoo veterinarians had been closely observing him since shortly after his birth July 25.
Last Friday, when keepers did not observe weight gain or consistent nursing, they began supplementing the fawn with milk. A veterinary examination performed at that time suggested that the fawn had an infection, and he was started on antibiotics and fluid therapy. Over the weekend, he gained weight and appeared to be responding to the antibiotics. However, on Tuesday morning he had lost significant weight, was very lethargic, and was having difficulty breathing. A final pathology report and additional testing will provide more information, but preliminary findings suggest a systemic bacterial infection.
The fawn was the third born to mother Adara and the first for father Raul. Adara has re-joined the other female dama gazelles.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species lists the Dama gazelle as critically endangered. It is estimated that fewer than 500 remain in the wild and are under constant threat due to hunting and poaching.