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Rare breed foal to join Norfolk zoo

PUBLISHED: 10:47 08 June 2013 | UPDATED: 10:47 08 June 2013

Banham Zoo are celebrating after the arrival of their new Suffolk Punch foal, Bazoo Zsea who is being looked after with his mother by head horseman Matt Bundock. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Banham Zoo are celebrating after the arrival of their new Suffolk Punch foal, Bazoo Zsea who is being looked after with his mother by head horseman Matt Bundock. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

The birth of a Suffolk Punch colt may have caused the youngster some confusion when he was born across the border in Norfolk.

But staff were delighted with the 14th foal to be successfully born at Banham Zoo, near Attleborough, and mother, Nell, and son are said to be doing well.

The new foal has been named Bazoo ZSEA in honour of the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), a charitable trust which was founded this year, to encompass both Banham Zoo and its sister park Africa Alive!.

Zoo director Martin Goymour said: “Nell is a special mare to us having been hand-reared.

“She is proving once again to be a super mum to her very handsome colt foal, and I am sure that zoo visitors will be as delighted as I am with this addition to the rare Suffolk horse breed”.

"I am sure that zoo visitors will be as delighted as I am with this addition to the rare Suffolk horse breed."

Martin Goymour

The pair are currently “off show” but will take up residence in the zoo from the middle of June.

They will remain in the zoo paddocks during the summer.

The Suffolk horses from the Banham Zoo stud are used to promote the breed at county shows and events. This year they are participating at the Royal Norfolk Show, the Lincolnshire Show, the Great Yorkshire Show, the Wayland Show, the Weeting Steam Rally and The Suffolk Punch Spectacular.

At other times throughout the year the horses can be seen at Banham Zoo, and during the summer holidays are often on duty providing horse-drawn passenger rides.

The Suffolk horse is the oldest breed of heavy horse in Great Britain and dates back at least to the 16th century. All trace their male lines back to one stallion, a horse called Crisp’s Horse of Ufford, who was foaled in 1768.

The Suffolk heavy horse once numbered in their thousands and was a common sight on farms throughout East Anglia.

They are now the rarest of the region’s native equine breeds and designated category “one”, Critical, Rare Breed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust.

There are currently just 600 pure-bred Suffolk’s registered with the Suffolk Horse Society which manages the stud book for the breed.


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