There were celebrations all round as the only Hartmann’s mountain zebra to be born in the UK in 2015 arrived safely on the morning of Friday, 11th December.
The stripy new addition, who is yet to be named, is the son of Helene, and takes our number of zebras to three, including resident male, Fernando.
He is the third of his species to be born here in the last five years and a second son of for Helene, whose first foal, Tebogo was born in 2011. Tebogo was the first Hartmann’s to be born anywhere in the UK for 9 years.
After much deliberation, keepers have decided to name the new arrival Jabali. From African origins, the name means 'strong as a rock' in Swahili.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are listed as vulnerable, meaning they are at high risk of extinction in the wild as their total population is under 9,000.
Adam Kenyon, Section Head of Large Mammals, said: “We are ecstatic to welcome this beautiful new foal to our collection. Due to their low numbers every birth is worth celebrating and we have been waiting with baited breath for eleven months. He is certainly a very welcome early Christmas present and is the perfect way to end another great year!”
Native to Namibia the zebras are usually found in small groups and are agile climbers so inhabit steep mountainous country where they are able to live in harsh conditions.
Current studies show that the number of Hartmann’s mountain zebras in the wild could decline by more than 10 per cent in the next 25 years due to an increase in hunting and loss of natural habitat.