Rare Antelope Defies Naturalists By Olding On At 26

Europe’s only klipspringer antelope delicately hops and skips its way to its 26th birthday party, colourful cake and friends included.

Known as ‘the goat of the rocks’ in Swahili, rock-climbing klipspringers are a type of antelope native to mountains found in eastern and southern Africa.

BIOPARC Valencia/Newsflash

The 26-year-old buck, named Calypso, is the only klipspringer found in Europe and would normally have lived to between 12 and 15 years.

But as these images show, he is still going strong at twice his expected maximum age.

Calypso the klipspringer is highly unique in the sense that in addition to the fact that he is the only klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) on display in Europe, he appears to be ageing backwards, or at the very least, he has exceeded its life expectancy far beyond what was previously imagined.

This is according to a statement Newsflash obtained from Bioparc Valencia, a giant zoo park in the city of Valencia in Spain that specialises in African fauna and announced Calypso’s 26th birthday celebrations on Monday, 5th August.

In the video, Calypso can be seen inspecting a colourful birthday cake with a host of animal friends that share his roomy exhibit after zoo caretakers lovingly prepare the space by filling it with decorations and more tasty snacks.

Bioparc Valencia drew further attention to their devotion to the veteran klipspringer by going on to describe his elaborate birthday celebrations in great detail along with a special cake in the statement.

Bioparc added: “The striking, laborious, delicious and unique birthday cake has surprised not only the klipspringer, but also the rest of the animals with which it shares the peculiar multispecies enclosure that the BIOPARC aviary represents.

Photo shows a scene from the special birthday organised by a Bioparc Valencia staff for the rockhopper Calypso’s 26th birthday in Spain, undated photo.
(BIOPARC Valencia/Newsflash)

“The multi-coloured cake was made with assorted fruit and vegetables, creating layers of different shades with his favourite delicacies: oranges, watermelon, carrots, peppers, corn, blueberries and lettuce.

“The decoration that has been formed with a “mushroom trompe l’oeil” has been achieved using watermelon, beetroot, leek and a few pieces of turnip to simulate the characteristic white dots of the mushrooms.”

The klipspringer is considered a species of least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Despite this, the generalised loss of their habitat draws attention to the importance of monitoring their status, according to the statement.

Calypso was born in 1996 in Frankfurt, Germany before he was transferred to Amsterdam in Holland.

Bioparc, which prides itself on being a platform for animal conservation, explained that Calypso arrived at Bioparc Valencia in 2008 and in need of special care due to his advanced age.

The statement added: “The objective is to provide the highest quality of life with veterinary check-ups.”

This includes special treatments such as a regular nail pedicure so that the agile klipspringer is able to move freely, along with a daily cleaning of a tear gland found underneath Calypso’s eyes, according to the statement.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Alice Amelia ThomasSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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