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Greater Kudu Family Now in the
African Watering Hole Habitat

Noeli (left) and Noola (right) can be seen in the African Watering Hole habitat.

Posted July 2021

The Milwaukee County Zoo is happy to announce that a greater kudu family can now be seen together in the African Watering Hole habitat. The family consists of adult male Hasani, adult female, Noeli, their male offspring, Katavi, who was born at the Zoo last year, and 4-year-old female Noola, Noeli’s daughter sired by Barudi, a male who previously lived at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The family was first introduced together to the Watering Hole on June 21. Zookeepers and Zoo Pride volunteers watched closely to see how Hasani would react to being around another male.  Since Katavi is a juvenile, zookeepers didn’t anticipate any issues, but wanted to monitor them in the event Hasani displayed any aggression, which he has not. The family can be seen in the habitat along with four waterbuck, a plain’s zebra, and a Marabou stork.

Hasani (left) has interacted peaceably with Katavi (right) and the rest of the kudu family since their introduction to the African Watering Hole habitat.

The kudu family has been getting along well. Hasani is separated from the females and youngsters overnight as a precaution, but so far, they have interacted peaceably. Although Katavi is no longer nursing, he still sticks close to Noeli and will do so until he’s a little older. However, he’s beginning to show some independence and will show even more before long.

The kudu family enjoys several types of enrichment that elicit their natural behaviors. They receive puzzle feeders to simulate natural foraging conditions that they would encounter in the wild. Zookeepers also release scents in their habitat that they would notice and investigate in the wild, and they’re given manipulatable items to spar with.

Kudo are one of nine types of spiral-horned antelope species, all of which are native to Africa. The bongo antelope, another of these species, also reside at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The kudus’ horn material grows faster and thinner at certain times, and then thicker and slower at other times to create the spiral shape. The spirals help the bulls lock horns with each other when engaged in fights over females.