The Zoo’s zebra herd is growing. Abby, the 16-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra gave birth to “Athena,” a female foal on Monday, March 5, 2018. This is the fourth filly for Abby and third for father, seven-year-old, Zack. Zoo Keepers picked “Athena” based on the tradition of choosing a name with the first initial “A” after mom, Abby.
“The foal weighed 80 and stands approximately three feet tall,” said Dr. Colleen Clabbers, the Zoo’s Veterinarian. “Abby is a great, experienced mom and is taking good care of baby Athena,” Clabbers added. Female zebras produce a single foal every one to three years, after a gestation of approximately one year. The foal will stay close to her mother for eight to twelve months before being weaned.
This is a significant birth for the species as Hartmann’s mountain zebras are threatened in the wild and there are less than 60 individuals in the North American zoos as part of the Association of Zoo and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The Zoo has a total of four zebras, Abby, Zack, 13-year-old Rose and the now Athena. Both mom and foal are behind the scenes during the cooler weather, but should be gradually introduced to the exhibit in the coming weeks.