The animals are being raised for “population insurance” by an international team of biologists

By Alex Heigl
March 30, 2016 05:23 PM

“Insurance population” sounds like a kind of scam, but it’s actually quite the opposite.

It’s a joint effort by biologists from the United States and Mexico to up the population of the Peninsular Pronghorn, a sadly in-decline species of antelope.

The effort is based out of the El Vizcaino Biosphere Preserve in Baja California Sur, Mexico, with staff from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the Los Angeles Zoo, The Living Desert, Sedgwick County Zoo, and the El Paso Zoo assisting in the hand-rearing efforts.

The young fawns are slated to be transferred from the El Vizcaino Biosphere Preserve to the Los Angeles Zoo and Chapultepec Zoo, but they need plenty of TLC beforehand. “Pronghorns by nature are a flighty species and can become stressed very easily,” Jeff Holland, curator of mammals at the Los Angeles Zoo, said in a release. “We hand rear the fawns, which is bottle feeding them, in order to reduce the stress.”

The fawns will move to their new home when they are well conditioned and can be safely transferred.

The Peninsular Pronghorn is one of the most endangered large mammals in Mexico, thanks to the ever-popular combination of overhunting and loss of habitat due to ranching.

“Every baby is important for the survival of the species, Katie Delk D.V.M.,veterinary resident at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park,” said in the release.