El Paso Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Misty Garcia arrived in Baja, Mexico today to contribute to field conservation efforts by hand-rearing endangered Peninsular Pronghorn fawns.
Before the young fawns can be transferred, it is vital that the animals are handfed and cared for by veterinary and animal care staff. Dr. Garcia is joining staff from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the Los Angeles Zoo, theLiving Desert and Sedgwick County Zoo in assisting staff from Espacios Naturales to care for and feed fawns for transfer to the Los Angeles Zoo and Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City.
She will spend two weeks in primitive conditions to help insure species survival. Espacios Naturales helps bring hand reared fawns to zoos in the United States accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to establish an insurance population for the species.
“I don’t know what to expect when I get there, but I’m excited to get to help save species in the wild. To have the opportunity to do field conservation work allows us to take my experience at the Zoo and help animals in the wild.” Dr. Misty Garcia said. “There are such a low number of this species left, every baby is important. I’m proud I can represent the El Paso Zoo on behalf of the borderland community and contribute to saving species.”
The Peninsular pronghorn is one of the most endangered large mammals in Mexico and is considered to be a critically endangered species.
The pronghorn has been severely reduced in its native Baja Peninsula and Southern California region by hunting, habitat destruction, and cattle ranching.