A new zebra arrives…foal-real!
Abbey, a 15-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, gave birth to a female foal on Thursday, June 2, 2016. This is the third filly for Abbey and the second for father, five-year-old, Zack.
The foal weighed 77.55 pounds, is approximately 3 feet tall and is very healthy. This is a significant birth for the species as Hartmann’s mountain zebras are threatened in the wild and there are less than 60 captive individuals in the North American Species Survival Plan (SSP).
This new addition brings the herd to five zebras at the Zoo. Emilie was born last April to Abbey and Zack and 12-year-old Rose came to the Zoo in 2012 from Tampa, Fla. Female zebras produce a single foal every one to three years, after a gestation of approximately one year. Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern and after giving birth the mother will position herself between her foal and the rest of the herd so that the foal will imprint upon her stripe pattern. The foal will stay with its mother for a little over a year before being weaned.
Abbey and the foal are behind the scenes for plenty of bonding time before going on exhibit. Look for them – and a naming contest – in the following weeks!
About Hartmann’s mountain zebra
There are three species of zebras. Hartmann’s mountain zebra inhabit rugged, broken, and mountainous areas up to 2,000 meters with a rich diversity of grass species and perennial water sources. Their hooves extremely fast to compensate for the heavy wear endured on the rocky terrain where they live. They will dig for water if it is not available using the front hooves. The small pools left behind serve as watering holes for smaller mammals and birds.