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December 1, 2017

Chinese goral Photo by Jamie Pham

In October, we welcomed the handsome fellow shown above—a male Chinese goral. The Chinese goral is a small goat-like ungulate (hoofed animal), native to mountainous regions of Myanmar, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Laos. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists it as Vulnerable, and, in parts of its range, it is overhunted.

Another striking ungulate to “set hoof” onto the L.A. Zoo campus recently was a male addax. This desert-dwelling antelope is closely related to the Arabian oryx, a species that the Zoo helped return to its native range, where it had all but disappeared, in 1978.

Not all of the recent arrivals have hooves; some are equipped with fins! A group of eight zebra catfish came to the Zoo as part of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confiscation. They are similar to the armored catfish currently on view adjacent to the otter habitat in Rainforest of the Americas, but they are much smaller and are strikingly patterned (as the name suggests) in black and white stripes. Many hobbyists refer to both the armored catfish and the zebra catfish as “Plecos,” which is short for Plecostomus. They are currently off exhibit, but will join their cousins in the Rainforest soon.

Recent avian highlights include two injured California condors sent here by the USFWS for treatment, a male sunbittern, and two chukar partridges.