Rare Star - With Stripes - Celebrates First Birthday
27th February 2012
Categories: Press Releases - Latest
The UK’s only Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra to be born in the past decade is celebrating his first birthday at Blackpool Zoo tomorrow (Tuesday 28th February).
Tebogo was one of only 26 foals to arrive across the entire world in 2011 and he took the number of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras in captivity in the UK to 14.
He was named by specialist keepers that cared for his mother Helene during her pregnancy. Tebogo is a south South African name which means ‘we are thankful’.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011 lists Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras as Vulnerable with a total population of less than 9000 mature individuals.
Current studies indicate that this number could decline by more than 10 per cent in the next 25 years due to an increase in hunting and loss of natural habitat to agriculture.
Sofie Haugaard, Blackpool Zoo’s Senior Large Mammal Keeper, said: “Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra births are extremely rare and the entire team here at Blackpool Zoo were delighted when we broke a nine year absence of new babies in the UK last year.
“It has been great to see him flourish over the past 12 months and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow.”
Tanya Langenhorst, the International Studbook Keeper & European Breeding Programme Co-ordinator, added: “The birth of this foal was hugely important and wonderful news for the breeding programme and Blackpool Zoo as it adds not only another foal, but two more proven breeders to the European population.
“I would like to wish Tebogo a very happy first birthday and congratulate keepers on the fantastic job they have done since he was born.”
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are native to Namibia and most commonly found in the extremely harsh environmental conditions of the Kunene Region in the North West.
There are four Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras at Blackpool Zoo. Eighteen year old female Bette shares the paddock with proud parents Helene and Fernando, who are seven and six respectively.