The arrival of a Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal at Virginia Zoo last week brings the rare herd up to five members at the US zoo.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are threatened in the wild and there are less than 60 captive individuals in the North American Species Survival Plan (SSP). The filly foal was born on Thursday, June 2 to Abbey, 15, and Zach, 5.
The foal is the third filly for Abbey and the second for Zack. She weighed 77.55 pounds at birth and is about 3 feet tall.
She has a full sister, Emilie, who was born last April, and the fifth herd member is 12-year-old Rose, who came to the zoo in 2012 from Tampa, Florida.
Abbey and the foal will soon go on exhibit at the zoo, which said it would announce a naming contest in the next few weeks.
Hartmann’s mountain zebra, one of three species of the striped equid, inhabit rugged, broken, and mountainous areas up to 2000 meters with a rich diversity of grass species and perennial water sources.
Their hooves grow extremely fast to compensate for the heavy wear endured on the rocky terrain where they live. They will dig for water if it is not available using the front hooves. The small pools left behind serve as watering holes for smaller mammals and birds.
Hartmann’s mountain zebra are a subspecies of the Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra), and range from 10 to 14 hands in height. They are unusual in that they are the only equine with a dewlap.
After giving birth the mother will position herself between her foal and the rest of the herd so that the foal will imprint upon her stripe pattern. The foal will stay with its mother for a little over a year before being weaned.