Zoo Knoxville in the US has welcomed the arrival of the first Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra foal to be born at the Tennessee zoo.
The as-yet-unnamed foal was born on December 23 to Lydia and Die Toekoms. Staff are yet to determine the foal’s gender, as they are giving Lydia time to bond with her foal.
The foal’s birth brings the total number of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras at Zoo Knoxville to four.
Zoo Knoxville is one of only 18 zoos in the US that works with Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras as part of the Species Survival Plan, a collaboration of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to save endangered species from extinction.
Native to southwest Africa, mountain zebras are vulnerable to extinction through habitat loss from farming and livestock production. It is estimated that only 8300 remain in the wild.
Zoo Knoxville curator Petty Grieve said the birth was a goal the zoo had been working and planning toward for several years. “It is our job to help ensure the survival of this species and it is exciting to see the impact our herd will have for the future.”