Hartmann’s mountain zebra mare Abby is doing her part in continuing the threatened species, with the birth of her fifth foal at Virginia Zoo in Norfolk in the US.
Abby, 17, gave birth to a filly foal on May 13, with the youngster weighing in at 80 pounds. The filly is the fourth foal by her dad, eight-year-old, Zack.
Zookeepers are looking for a name that starts with the letter “Z” after her dad who left the Virginia Zoo for breeding at another zoological facility in late 2018. They’ve narrowed the choices down to Zelda, Zeta, Zambezi, Zenith, and Zephyra.
“We were lucky to have one last filly before Zack left last year,” said zoo veterinarian Dr Colleen Clabbers. “Abby is an experienced mother and she is already taking great care of her baby.”
Both mom and baby are behind the scenes to bond and acclimate to the new surroundings but should be gradually introduced to the exhibit in the coming weeks.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are threatened in the wild and there are just over 100 individuals in the North American zoos as part of the Association of Zoo and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Zoo currently has an all-female herd, with five zebras: Abby, 14-year-old Rose, three-year-old Ruuxa, one-year-old Athena, and the new foal.