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There was a surprise new arrival at Blackpool Zoo last week, when a rare zebra unexpectedly gave birth to her first foal.

Betty is a Hartmann’s mountain zebra.

There are fewer than 9,000 mature zebras of this Namibian breed in the world, so the as yet unnamed colt is a significant addition to the European Endangered Species programme.

Keeper Sofie Fawzy arrived at work on 26 November to find the foal up and feeding.

The zoo had started to suspect that 19-year-old Betty was pregnant but had not realised the birth was so imminent.

“Mother and baby are doing very well,” said Sofie, who cared for the zoo’s previous zebra foal, Tebogo, who is rising two and recently moved to Germany.

“It’s fantastic to have another lively foal running around,” she added.