Zoo birth is black and white

Published: 7 March 2012

Zoo birth is black and white

Paignton Zoo is celebrating its first zebra birth for 10 years.

The un-named foal - thought to be male - was born around 6.30am on Tuesday 28th February to six year old Goma. Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Matthew Webb said: "We had to help him to his feet, but after that he started to suckle well."

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.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: "This is great news. We need more foals to increase the zoo population and as there is presently a lack of available males in the European Endangered species Programme he will certainly have a future part to playin saving his species."

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.

Hartmann's mountain zebra come from rocky, mountainous areas. A herd of zebra, when grouped together, presents a dazzling sight to the human eye. The zebra's stripes may be a signalling system for the herd and may also be useful in confusing a predator.

A single foal is born after a gestation of 11.5 months (350 days). Some populations are protected in national parks. There is European Endangered species Programme (EEP) for this zebra managed by Marwell Zoo.

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Volunteers were very friendly and keen to share information about the animals.
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