Stunning in stripes!
Wednesday 21 September 2005
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park is celebrating following the successful birth of a female Grevy's zebra.
The foal was born on 3rd September to mother Paula, who was also born at Whipsnade in 1995. Standing only a metre tall, the foal has not quite worked out how to use her legs properly and, like many baby animals she does have a tendency for untimely energetic spurts. She can sometimes be seen chasing around the paddock but most of the time she is happy staying close to mum.
The photocall will take place outside at the zebra paddock where keeping staff will be encouraging the mother and foal to an area in front of the fence.
The new arrival is the 25th foal to be bred at Whipsnade. This successful birth is vitally important for the continued achievement of the co-ordinated international breeding programme for Grevy's zebra of which there are currently 580 individuals in zoos all over the world. The population in the wild has declined dramatically over the last 20 years due to habitat loss, drought and poaching. There are currently estimated to be only 2 – 3,000 animals remaining in the wild.
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Notes to editors
The Grevy's zebra, equus grevyi, is the larger of the three zebra species and is mainly found in the semi arid grasslands of northern Kenya and Ethiopia.
The foal shares the 10 acre paddock with the other nine zebras in the herd.
The father, Nakuru, came to Whipsnade in 2004 from Leipzig Zoo in Germany.
The Grevy's zebra eats mainly grass and spends most of the daylight hours grazing. During the winter months the diet is supplemented with horse and pony pellets.
Generally, only one foal is born to a female after a gestation period of thirteen months.
The young zebra has brown stripes and a mane which stretches from the shoulder to the tail.
The foal can stand on its feet within one hour of its birth and can run with the herd after only a few hours - this gives it a much better chance of escaping from predators, usually lions.
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity; our key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in other countries worldwide.
Julie Yorke : 01582 871303