Banham Zoo celebrates second Suffolk Punch birth

Banham Zoo is celebrating the safe arrival of its second Suffolk Punch colt foal of the year.

The pretty newcomer named Xiu was born to Nell on May 11, who was also born at the south Norfolk zoo in 2001.

Every year a progressive letter of the alphabet is used to name the new foals and each name is preceded by the word Bazoo, which is the Suffolk Horse Society's registered stud name for Banham Zoo.

Each year just 40 to 50 Suffolk foals are born. Xiu is believed to be the 19th surviving foal out of 25 born so far this year.

Mother and foal are both doing well and are enjoying a few hours out in the paddocks every day when the weather permits.

The Suffolk horse is the oldest breed of heavy horse in Great Britain, dating from at the least the sixteenth century, and all can trace their male lines back to one stallion.

The distinctive rust-coloured horse once numbered in their thousands and was a common sight on farms throught East Anglia, but are now the most rare of the country's native equine breeds.

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There are currently just 480 pure bred Suffolk horses registered with the Suffolk Horse Society.

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