There's a baby boom at Brookfield Zoo.
Three endangered female addax antelope have been born at the zoo over the past two months with the most recent entering the family last week. Adding to the good news is one more antelope expected by the end of summer.
The new calves, named Martha, Sara and Mali and weighing between 11 and 15 pounds, are doing well with their mothers and are now on display in their public outdoor habitat.
"We are absolutely thrilled that we had so many born at the same time," said Joan Daniels, associate curator of mammals. "It's a very important part of what we do, trying to breed critically endangered animals in a zoo setting to contribute to their survival overall."
They join a population of less than 300 antelopes in the world and are extremely endangered in their native grounds of Africa due to excessive hunting, human oil drilling and civil unrest from wars.
"Every extinction is a tragedy ... every single animal in the ecosystem is helpful in their own way," Daniels said.
Brookfield Zoo was the first North American zoo to have the furry mammals born back in 1941 but has housed them since 1935.
The newborns join six other antelopes at the zoo. They aren't the only newborns in town, though. In the past year, the zoo has seen the births of an okabi cat, 10 wilddog puppies and are expecting a zebra later this year.