Endangered zebra foal born at Marwell zooÂ

Zookeepers are celebrating after a healthy endangered Grevy's zebra foal was born at Marwell zoo.Â

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 12:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 1:20 pm
Endangered zebra has been born at Marwell zoo. Picture: Jason Brown/ PA Wire

Mother Imogen gave birth in the Wild Explorers exhibit at the zoo in Owslebury in the early hours of Friday, October 12. 

Keepers say both mother and the yet-to-be-named foal are doing '˜very well'. 

The latest arrival takes the total number of Grevy's zebra at the zoo to eight and it is the first foal to be sired by resident stallion Fonzy.

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Endangered zebra has been born at Marwell zoo. Picture: Jason Brown/ PA Wire

Ian Goodwin, the zoo's animal collection manager for hoofstock, said: '˜Imogen is looking after her foal very well.

'˜It's great to watch her exploring her new surroundings at Wild Explorers, where we highlight the conservation work we carry out in Africa.

'˜Our new arrival is a very important and welcome addition to the endangered species breeding programme.'

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The foal is doing 'very well' the zoo has said. Picture: Jason Brown/ PA Wire

In the late 1970s there were 15,000 Grevy's zebra in the wild, while today there are estimated to be only around 2,800 remaining.

The Grevy's zebra has suffered a drastic population decline caused by climate change, habitat loss and competition with increasing livestock numbers.

Mr Goodwin added: '˜Since 2003, Marwell Wildlife has been working with partners in northern Kenya to conserve Grevy's zebra.

'˜We employ a team of conservation biologists and scouts who work in the field and they have been instrumental in helping to create a national conservation strategy for the species.

The female foal was born in the early hours of Friday. Picture: Jason Brown/ PA Wire

'Marwell also manages the International Studbook and the European Ex situ Programme (EEP) for Grevy's zebra.'

Grevy's zebra are the largest wild equid, mammals of the horse family, which includes horses, asses and zebras.

They are found in the semi-arid bushland of Ethiopia and northern Kenya and are adapted to the harsh conditions as they only need to drink every two to five days.