The San Diego Zoo acquired our first Nile lechwe in 1966, a pair of young adults. Today, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a herd of Nile lechwe in its East Africa field exhibit. View the herd from an Africa Tram, or Caravan Safari, or Cart Safari tour.
The current number of Nile lechwe in the wild is unknown and the species is endangered. The last count of the wild population was in 1983. At that time the total number of individuals was between 30,000 and 40,000 animals. Since the 1980s, the people they share their habitat with have been in a state of turmoil. Cultural instability, the increasing use of firearms, and multiplying cattle encroaching have all harmed Nile lechwe. The most threatening is a hydroelectric dam built south of their native floodplains in Sudan. It will likely disturb the seasonal flooding Nile lechwe and many other species rely on.
Because of the political problems in Sudan, no field research has been done. Much of how Nile lechwe behave in the wild is unknown. Social stability is crucial for the people living in this beautiful country and for the creatures that inhabit it.
You can help us bring Nile lechwe back from the brink by supporting the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy. Together we can save and protect wildlife around the globe.