WASHINGTON -- Visitors to the National Zoo on Wednesday got more of a spectacle than anticipated when one of the zoo’s rare dama gazelles gave birth in an enclosure. You can see the adorable new baby's first steps in the video above.
At 2:30 p.m., the baby was born to a pair of gazelles called Adara and Raul. Zoogoers lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time were able to observe the animal’s birth and shaky first steps, according to a National Zoo media advisory.
AW! Here Are Some Photos Of The New Baby Gazelle -- Story Continues Below:
The baby's gender is still a mystery, according to the National Zoo's Jen Zoon, who said that keepers had not yet "been able to get a good visual of the baby," but should be able to do so soon.
For the next few weeks, the mother and baby will be removed from the gazelle enclosure and given time to bond away from their already-growing fan base. When the baby returns for public viewing, the zoo will make plans for naming it.
The birth was a particularly important event for the zoo because dama gazelles, plagued by poachers in their native North Africa, are listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Authorities say fewer than 500 remain in the wild, making the National Zoo's new baby one of the world's rarest variety of gazelle.
UPDATE: We now know the baby's gender! Jen Zoon contacted The Huffington Post on Thursday to give us the news: "Our vets and keepers were able to have a good look at the baby this morning -- we have a boy! :)"