She may be only three-weeks old but a rare baby zebra born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is already making her mom earn her racing stripes. The as-yet-unnamed Grevy’s Zebra, born on July 17, can be spotted giving mother Henna the run around and gambolling in the paddock they share with the rest of the herd, including dad Abeba.
Africa section team leader Mark Holden said: “Henna is doing a great job of looking after her new arrival. It’s her first-born so she’s very protective but both of them are doing really well. The foal can often be seen up and running with the rest of the herd or having a rest with mom.” The leggy youngster was born with brown stripes that will turn black as she matures – her striped pattern is as unique as a fingerprint; no two zebra patterns are the same.
She is the 27th foal to be born at the Zoo as part of a European Endangered Species Program and is an important addition to the species which is classified as 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species -- with only an estimated 2,500 animals remaining in the wild. In the past, particularly in the 1970s and 80s, the Grevy's Zebra suffered declining numbers due to commercial hunting for their skins and have continued to be affected by habitat loss.