SANTA ROSA—A baby Nile lechew antelope who was born at Safari West in Santa Rosa on Friday, October 13, died on Monday, October 16.
The infant mammal was named Tubbs after the deadly fire that broke out in the Santa Rosa area beginning on October 8. The animal was born at the wildlife preserve as clouds of smoke surfaced; surrounding neighborhoods were destroyed and more than 20 people were killed over the course of the week.
The 400-acre property was in danger of catching fire. Tubbs’ mother was allegedly rescued from nearby flames on October 9 among the approximate 1,000 animals who reside at the preserve. The Safari West property was later reported to be free of damage, as owner Peter Lang, whose home (among several staff members) was allegedly at risk, doused every flame in sight with water from a garden hose.
According to Safari West representative Aphrodite Caserta, Tubbs was “a much needed ray of life in a time of darkness.” Caserta also reported that Tubbs, who appeared healthy at birth and during its few days of life, died of intestinal complications.
The Nile lechew, an endangered species, can be found in swamps and grassy regions in South Sudan and Ethiopia, particularly in shallow areas of water surrounding swamps.