ASTANA – The birthing season of saiga antelopes has kicked off in the West Kazakhstan Region with the first calves born, reports Khabar news agency.
This period for the saiga begins every year in early May and lasts for a couple of weeks. According to experts, 70 percent of the female population has given birth to calves.
The region has more than one million saigas, the largest population in the country. The weight of a saiga calf at birth is around three kilograms. After birth, they lie motionless for the first few hours and camouflage with the color of the steppe.
Any female saiga can feed the calf because the mother may not always be there. The steppe antelopes who were born on cold Kuralai, a rainy and windy day, are considered lucky because the weather conditions help strengthen their immunity.
“A week ago, we counted the number of saigas from the air, the result will be announced later. Last year, there were around 800,000 but this year there will be approximately one million. Six years ago, there were only 93,000 saigas in the West Kazakhstan Region,” said Berik Satybayev, a senior inspector at Ohotzooprom, an organization which preserves fauna, flora and their biological diversity.