Meet the new arrival at an East Anglian zoo
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Long-legged and super cute, there's a new arrival at Africa Alive!
It's a summery hello to the adorable new zebra foal now meeting visitors at Africa Alive!
The keepers at Africa Alive! at Kessingland, near Lowestoft, are delighted to announce the happy arrival of a Chapman's zebra.
The strong, healthy – and super cute – foal was born at the park on July 18 and is now happily trotting about with the other zebras on the Plains of Africa at the zoo, the four acre setting at the park where it can mix with giraffe, white rhino, blesbok (a type of antelope) and ostrich, simulating a typical scene from the Africa savannah.
The foal, who has yet to be sexed and named, is being closely watched over by its mother Fennel, who was born at Africa Alive! in July 2012 and father Max, who came from Schwerin Zoo in Germany back in July 2013.
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The zebra foal was born after a gestation period lasting over twelve months, and while it will suckle from mum Fennel for at least seven months, has been able to nibble grass since it was a few days old.
In the wild Chapman's zebras are found in a variety of habitats, from savannah and light woodland to hilly areas and mountain slopes. They live in small family groups and are classified as 'Near Threatened' as numbers are believed to have dropped 25% in 25 years due to habitat destruction and illegal poaching.
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And to answer an often asked question - the stripes are unique to each zebra and are white stripes and a white belly on a black background, not black stripes on white.
Zebra foals can stand up on their own within about 15 minutes of being born, and, while perhaps a little wobbly, would be able to walk and join its mother as she rejoined the herd. As young zebras are very vulnerable to predators, being able to run shortly after birth is vital to their survival in the wild.
In the wild zebras live for an average of nine years, in captivity they may live for up to about 40 years.