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Bumper year for zebra births at Longleat

Keepers at Longleat have enjoyed a baby boom among its herd of Grant’s zebra this summer with four new arrivals making 2019 ‘one of the best years ever’ for the safari park.

Following a year-long pregnancy, foals are born weighing just over 15kgs and rather than their familiar black and white stripes, babies appear with a brownish tinge to their coat, to help hide them from would-be predators. The striped coat of an adult zebra also acts as camouflage, breaking up the outline of individual animals, and also helping to deter flies.

Grant’s zebra is a subspecies of plains zebra and there are thought to be approximately 300,000 left in the wild. They generally grow to be about 120 to 140 centimetres tall and live in family groups of up to 20 individuals, led by a single stallion. In the wild Grant’s zebras live an average of 20 years but survive much longer in captivity.

Visitors to Longleat can find the Grant’s zebras sharing their 60-acre East African enclosure with a group of Rothschild’s giraffes. In the wild, the two species often congregate together as the height and eyesight of the giraffe and the keen hearing of the zebra offer mutual protection against predators.

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