London zoo welcomes endangered Grevy’s zebra foal

Nap time: Whipsnade Zoo's new Grevy's zebra foal, who was born on May 21.
Nap time: Whipsnade Zoo’s new Grevy’s zebra foal, who was born on May 21.

An endangered Grevy’s zebra foal has been born at London’s Whipsnade Zoo.

The youngster was born on May 21 to mum Henna, but the baby’s sex has not yet been revealed.

The new foal is Henna’s second, and the 44th zebra to be born at Whipsnade since 1959.

The sex of Whipsnade Zoo's new Grevy's zebra foal has not yet been revealed.
The sex of Whipsnade Zoo’s new Grevy’s zebra foal has not yet been revealed.

Zookeepers said both mum and baby are doing really well.

Henna and the baby can be seen in their paddock opposite Passage Through Asia.

Grevy’s zebras, which are the largest of all wild equids, are listed as endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their median life expectancy is about 30 years.

The breed has a gestation of 13 months. While Grevy’s zebras are white with black stripes, at birth a foal is born with reddish-brown stripes that may turn black by one year. However, some animals tend to always have a brown tinge. The striped pattern, which is like a fingerprint and is unique for each individual, helps the zebra blend in with a background of grasses and shrubs, making it nearly invisible to predators.

The Grevy’s zebra is the largest in size of five species of zebra and the most endangered in the wild.

Whipsnade’s herd of Grevy’s zebra are part of a global breeding programme that aims to ensure the future of the species, with no more than a few thousand remaining in small populations in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Henna and the new baby at Whipsnade Zoo.
Henna and the new baby at Whipsnade Zoo.

The foal’s birth also comes just in time for the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) Love Your Zoo week, from May 28 to June 4. The week-long event promotes the important work ZSL Whipsnade Zoo does with regards to conservation, education and research.

The new foal was the 44th zebra to be born at Whipsnade zoo since 1959.
The new foal was the 44th zebra to be born at Whipsnade zoo since 1959.

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