Baby antelope born at Safari West during wildfire dies

Safari West's new Nile Lechwe, Tubbs, being cared for by a giraffe. Photo courtesy of Will Bucquoy/ for the Press Democrat.

A days-old endangered baby antelope born amid destructive Northern California wildfires has died.

Aphrodite Caserta, spokeswoman for Sonoma County's Safari West, said Tuesday the cause of the animal's death is unknown.

The species is found in swamps and grasslands in South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The baby was born Friday as thick smoke clogged parts of wine country during deadly fires that began Oct. 8.

Staff at the 400-acre private wildlife preserve named him Tubbs after the wildfire that had threatened the preserve.

Caserta said Tubbs looked strong and seemed to thrive but began to falter. She called the birth "a much needed ray of light in a time of darkness."