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Say Hello to Our New Kudu

Taraji (left) and Imani arrived from Texas last fall.

Posted June 2022

Zookeepers say that Imani often displays bravery and inquisitiveness.

The Milwaukee County Zoo is happy to announce that our two new female kudu can now be seen by the public in the African Waterhole habitat. Imani and Taraji arrived last fall from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas, by recommendation of the Species Survival Plan® (SSP) of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

After undergoing a 30-day quarantine upon their arrival, the pair were introduced to Noola, another female kudu that was born here at the Zoo in 2017. The three spent the winter months getting accustomed to living together. Earlier this month, Imani and Taraji were introduced to the Zoo’s male kudu, Hasani, for the first time. Once the four kudu became familiar and comfortable with each other, zookeepers also introduced the waterbuck and a plains zebra to the habitat. The kudu, zebra, and waterbuck can now all be seen together in the African Waterhole habitat.

Taraji is more guarded than Imani
but is quickly becoming comfortable
in her new surroundings.

Imani and Taraji are getting along well with their zookeepers and are beginning to participate in training sessions. They’ve begun to display more of their personalities. Zookeepers report that Imani is brave and inquisitive. They say she can sometimes be a “food hog” when the pair is being hand-fed (romaine lettuce is their favorite snack). Taraji is more guarded than Imani but has moments of bravery as well.

When you come to visit, you may notice that Imani’s ears are rounder than most kudu. Sadly, she experienced frostbite during the abnormal, extreme cold that Texas experienced in 2021, and lost part of her ears as a result. While their ears are one way to tell the girls apart, you can also identify them by their heights; Imani is taller, and Taraji is shorter. Be sure to say hello on your next visit!