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      Three extremely rare Dama gazelles born at Smithsonian

      A male Dama gazelle calf, born Feb. 18, receives an exam from veterinarians at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. (Photo: Dolores Reed, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute)

      (WJLA) - Time for your daily dose of cuteness.

      Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Va. are celebrating the birth of three male Dama gazelles. The calves were born Feb. 18, Feb. 20 and Feb. 25.

      At their 24-hour neonatal exam, the first calf weighed 11 pounds and the second and third calves weighed 12 pounds each.

      With less than 500 left in the wild, Dama gazelles are the rarest of all gazelles and are listed as critically endangered.

      Their population used to range widely across northern Africa, but is now limited to Chad, Mali and Niger.

      SCBI conducts veterinary and reproductive research in order to maintain animal populations of endangered species.