BALTIMORE, Md. (WHTM) — They call her “Jinx” because she was born on Friday the 13th.

On Wednesday, the Maryland Zoo announced the birth of the female addra gazelle calf, and they’re describing her mom Blanche as an “overachiever”.

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Blanche was brought to Baltimore in late fall, with plans to breed her with the zoo’s male gazelle. This was part of the Addra Gazelle Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). But when Blanche arrived, she was already, umm, expecting a blessed event.

For now, the leggy little bundle of joy is being kept indoors. “We’ve been keeping Jinx warm and dry in the barn to bond with her mom. She’ll make forays outdoors as she grows and the weather warms up,” said Erin Grimm, Mammal Curator at the Maryland Zoo. 

While her arrival means the zoo has to put breeding plans on hold for a while, Jinx is a welcome addition both for the zoo and the species. Addra gazelles (Nanger dama) are also known as the Dama Gazelle and Mhorr Gazelle. They are the largest and tallest gazelle species. The animals are native to Africa’s Sahara desert, from Sudan to Mauritania region. The Addra gazelles are critically endangered due to habitat loss caused by natural desertification and overgrazing by livestock. They also face poaching and overhunting for horns and meat, as well as non-human predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and cheetahs. Addra Gazelles used to be seen in large herds; today it’s rare to see groups larger than 20 in the wild.

All of this is why zoos and aquariums have adopted Species Survival Planning around the world. Captive animal populations can develop inbreeding problems, which can be countered by moving animals among facilities. This helps maintain genetic diversity so that individual animals will be healthy, which in turn improves the odds of the long-term survival of the species.

The Baltimore Zoo’s Addra gazelle herd currently consists of three animals, Blanche, Mukuru the 17-year-old male, and of course Jinx.

During warmer weather, you can see the Addra gazelles in the zoo’s African Watering Hole habitat, along a path near the flamingos, rhinos, ostriches, zebras, warthogs, and blue duikers (an incredibly cute antelope about the size of a house cat.)

For more information about Maryland zoo, click here.