The UK's Paignton Zoo is celebrating its first zebra birth in a decade when a new baby Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra was born in the early morning on February 28 to six-year-old mom Goma. Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Matthew Webb said: “We had to help him get to his feet, but after that he started to suckle well.” The as-of-yet unnamed foal is thought to be a male.
“This is great news," said Paignton Zoo Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said. "We need more foals to increase the zoo population and, as there is presently a lack of available males in the European Endangered species Program, he will certainly have a future part to play in saving his species.”
A single foal is born after a gestation of 11.5 months (350 days). Some populations are protected in national parks. There is a European Endangered species Program (EEP) for this zebra managed by Marwell Zoo.
Photo Credit: Paignton Zoo
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The last zebra to be born at Paignton Zoo was female Taru in June 2002. The new arrival is the fifth Hartmann’s mountain zebra to be born at the Zoo.
Goma came to Paignton Zoo in May 2008 from Marwell Zoo. Father Blesk came from Sigean Safari Park, France but had to be euthanised in December, 2011 due to chronic hoof problems. The Zoo’s small herd is completed by female Taru.