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Zoo Knoxville celebrates birth of endangered zebra
March 29, 2022, 5:25 pm

zoo knoxville endangered zebra
Hartmann's Mountain Zebra with her newborn; image by Knoxville Daily Sun staff

KNOXVILLE -- Zoo Knoxville is celebrating the birth of a Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. The foal, born on March 24 to mother Lydia and father Die Toekoms, is the second mountain zebra to be born in Knoxville. The baby is nursing and healthy. The foal’s gender is yet to be determined as zoo staff are giving Lydia and the baby time to bond.

“When we made the decision to bring Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra to Knoxville in 2018, it was because we knew we could help contribute to a healthy and stable population,” said Petty Grieve, curator of Africa Grasslands and Asian Trek. “We are excited for the success of our program and this foal will be an important part of the future.”

Zoo Knoxville is one of only 19 zoos in the country who work with this species as part of a collaboration of zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to save them from extinction. Native to Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, wild mountain zebra populations rebounded from “Endangered” status to “Vulnerable” in 2008. While the population has increased in recent years, they remain threatened by catastrophic drought and face a future population reduction of at least 30% within the next 33 years (three generations) if more severe droughts occur.

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