Joy as zoo welcomes safe arrival of two extremely rare foals

  • A British zoo has welcomed the arrival of two extremely rare foals as part of its conservation work to protect endangered species.

    A Przewalski’s horse and a Hartmann’s mountain zebra have been born at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire in recent weeks.

    The new Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal at Marwell Zoo. Credit: Mark Parris/Marwell Zoo

    “Przewalski’s horses had disappeared from the wild by the end of the 1960s.” said Tim Woodfine, the zoo’s director of conservation.

    “Marwell played a key role on forming a cooperative breeding programme for this species and planning its reintroduction. We have since provided animals for reintroduction in Mongolia and Hungary, and for grazing management projects in European nature reserves.”

    The Przewalski’s horse is now classed as “endangered” and this foal was born to mare Tsetseg on Sunday night (6 June).

    The zoo is also celebrating the safe arrival of a scimitar-horned oryx calf and a Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal, who are “thriving”. Both species are classed as “vulnerable” to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.

    The new Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal at Marwell Zoo. Credit: Mark Parris/Marwell Zoo

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    “These births are welcome additions to their respective European ex situ programmes, which are specially managed assurance populations,” said Dr Woodfine.

    “Our Przewalski’s horse foal and scimitar-horned oryx calf are reminders that these species disappeared from their natural ranges but have since been successfully reintroduced.

    “Our Tunisia team has helped reintroduce scimitar-horned oryx and continues to monitor them to four protected areas. We have also contributed animals and technical support to re-establish the species in the huge Ouadi Rimé‐Ouadi Achim Wildlife Reserve in Chad as part of an ambitious project undertaken by the government of Chad and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Sahara Conservation Fund.”

    He added: “The flexibility and fortitude exhibited by our teams and partners throughout the coronavirus pandemic meant that we achieved much against the odds. The reopening of the zoo is important for generating the income to support our conservation work across the world.”

    Credit: Marwell Zoo

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