Marwell Zoo‘s spectacular, family-friendly, art extravaganza, Marwell’s Zany Zebras, stampeded into Southampton recently, for a fantastic summer of fun.
From mesmerising mosaics and glistening gems to colourful characters and crazy creations, there really is a zebra for everyone.
Thousands of people, young and old, flocked to the city centre to enjoy the first weekend of zebra spotting. There were around 2,000 downloads of the official Marwell’s Zany Zebras app, which is available on both Apple and Android mobile devices, during the first two days of the event.
The Marwell’s Zany Zebras Zone in The Marlands Shopping Centre has come alive and is the perfect starting point for the trail. Visitors can collect a free trail map, chat to the Marwell team, enjoy a range of workshops, arts and crafts, purchase official merchandise and pick up the latest fashion statement- the #ZanyZelfie ears!
What’s more, the zoo is going crazy with a host of ‘zebratastic’ activities. Guests can grab a #GiantZelfie with Gulliver the huge zebra and follow the miniature Marwell’s Zany Zebras trail around the zoo to discover the match for their favourite zebra sculpture in Southampton.
For the latest pictures, competitions and news, ‘like’ the Marwell’s Zany Zebras facebook page and follow the zoo on Twitter.
Why did Marwell choose a Grevy’s zebra sculpture?
We chose a Grevy’s zebra sculpture to highlight the plight of the species in the wild. Grevy’s zebra has suffered one of the most rapid and catastrophic declines of any large African mammal in the last 40 years and there are under 3,000 individuals left in the wild – fewer than black rhino. Northern Kenya is home to about 90% of this remaining population, with the rest found across the border in Ethiopia.
For two decades, Marwell Wildlife has been working with partners in northern Kenya to conserve nature and support people who depend on the environment. Grevy’s zebra has become the focus for much of this work because the fate of this species and human wellbeing are inextricably linked to the sustainable management of natural resources in this fragile, dry ecosystem.
After much hard work, the good news is that Grevy’s zebra numbers have begun to show signs of stabilising, and people in community conservancies are feeling the benefits of security and access to services derived from conservation activities.
These successful outcomes show what can be achieved, but there is so much more that needs to be done to really secure the future of wildlife, alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of people. Funds raised from Marwell’s Zany Zebras will support this work.
How many zebra sculptures are there?
There are 150 zebra sculptures in Southampton – 47 large sculptures and 103 small sculptures plus 47 miniatures (replicas of the large sculptures) and 1 giant wooden sculpture at Marwell Zoo.
How can I find the sculptures?
Trail-goers can find their way around using the free trail map (available to pick up at various points around Southampton and to download from the Marwell’s Zany Zebras website), the mobile device app (android and iPhone) as well as the souvenir guidebook.
Where can I find the Marwell’s Zany Zebras Zone in Southampton?
We are based on the ground floor of The Marlands Shopping Centre. Here you can purchase our beautiful ‘Paint Your Own ceramic zebra kits and create your very own Marwell’s Zany Zebra, in addition to purchasing the souvenir guide plus other merchandise such as the #ZanyZelfie ears!
Where can I find out more information about workshops at the Marwell’s Zany Zebras Zone?
Visit www.zanzyzebras.org.uk to find the latest listings
What happens to the sculptures after the trail?
The trail finishes on 25th September, after which the sculptures will be dusted down ready for their appearance at the Ageas Bowl for the Marwell’s Zany Zebras Zebratastic weekend (14th – 17th October). After the event, all the large sculptures will be sold at a charity fundraising auction on 18th October at the Hilton at The Ageas Bowl, proceeds from which will help support our work with Grevy’s zebras and other wildlife in northern Kenya.
The smaller schools and youth group sculptures will return to the schools who decorated them.
Photo credit: @hargrovescycles