Lowestoft zoo welcomes zebra foal as part of its new arrivals

The Chapmans zebra foal which was born on July 14.

The Chapmans zebra foal which was born on July 14. - Credit: Archant

Black and white babies will be delighting visitors to Africa Alive! this summer.

A West African black crowned crane chick.

A West African black crowned crane chick. - Credit: Archant

In the space of three months, the zoo in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, has welcomed four new arrivals.

They are all threatened species and include a West African black crowned crane chick, twin black and white ruffed lemurs and a Chapman's zebra.

First to arrive was the black crowned crane chick on April 24, which is classified as vulnerable in the wild. In recent decades, wetlands and grasslands throughout the crane's range have been devastated by drought, the development and expansion of intensive agriculture, and by large scale dam, drainage and irrigation projects.

An Africa Alive! spokesman said: 'The first-ever successful hatching and rearing of this species at Africa Alive is a wonderful achievement by all the staff involved and of course, our male Pongo and female Purdy who did all the hard work.'

West African black crowned cranes.

West African black crowned cranes. - Credit: Archant

The next babies to arrive were the twin black and white ruffed lemurs, that were born on May 24.

The spokesman added: 'Mum Acacia arrived from Touroparc in France in October 2013 and dad Rube only arrived from Munster zoo in Germany in April last year, so we were thrilled to have them breed so soon after getting together.'

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Ruffed lemurs are the only lemur species to keep their young in a nest and if the mother needs to move them, she picks them up, one at a time, in her mouth. However, they develop rapidly and by three or four weeks of age they are able to follow her around on her own.

The final arrival was the Chapman's zebra. The foal was born on July 14 and is being closely watched over by mother Fennel and father Max plus the rest of the herd. Born after a gestation period lasting 12 months, it will suckle from mum for at least six months and start to nibble at grass after just a few days.

Twin black and white ruffed lemurs.

Twin black and white ruffed lemurs. - Credit: Archant

The foal will be fully independent at about a year and sexually mature at two-and-a-half years old.

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