Keepers at West Midland Safari Park welcomed a baby Grévy’s zebra during the early hours of Thursday morning. The new arrival is a first for the park and also for mum Akuna, who had a lengthy 13 month pregnancy.
The adorable youngster was up on its feet within an hour of being born, although it’s too early to tell the foal’s gender yet. A close eye will be kept on both mother and baby over the next few weeks to make sure they are doing well.
Vicky Barsham, African Ungulates Keeper, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our first ever baby Grévy’s zebra to the Park. Akuna is already proving to be a very attentive and caring mother. The foal is doing really well – it’s very active, enjoying dust baths and running around the safari.”
She continued: “West Midland Safari Park is very pleased to be taking part in such an important conservation breeding programme. In the wild, the recent ‘Great Grévy Rally’ showed that although there is an increased number of Grévy’s zebra in Kenya, there still remains only 2,800 individuals.”
The new foal is a great success for the Park’s European Endangered Species Programme, as this particular species of Grévy’s zebra is classified as ‘Endangered’ in the wild. The youngster will join an existing a herd of three Grévy’s zebra, including mum Akuna, dad and first time father Quigley, plus a further female, Montana.
In an effort to raise awareness, Grévy’s Zebra Week will run at the Park from 18-24 August, fundraising for the Grévy’s Zebra Trust, who work with communities in Kenya and Ethiopia to engage them in wildlife protection.
Watch footage of the adorable new Grevy’s zebra foal here
For more information on visiting West Midland Safari Park go to www.wmsp.co.uk or telephone 01299 402114.