In a striped Breeder’s Cup for endangered species, conservationists around the world celebrate the births this month of THREE rare Hartmann’s Mountain zebras. And they are way cuter than anything that knocked at your door last night trick-or-treating.
The most recent baby arrived on the night of Oct. 28 at a Zoo in Lyon, France. Earlier this month, first time parents (along with fretting zookeepers) Libra and Gounzo welcomed the arrival of baby Luna at the Marwell Zoo in Winchester, U.K. Yet another striped foal arrived this month, on our side of the pond, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Three zebras are a big deal when there’s only about 8,500 of them left on the planet. These zebras are extremely rare, and listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened species. Only about 8,000 live in the wild, mostly in Namibia, with 150 living in zoos around the world.
Zookeepers at the Marwell Zoo describe baby Luna as “an important animal for the future of the species.”
Cool things about these little equines, courtesy of the Louisville Zoo:
- They recognize one another’s rumps – or at least the stripe patterns there. It helps keep the herd together in the wild.
- No two zebra’s stripe patterns are identical.
- In the Namib desert, Hartmann’s zebras sniff out water and paw three feet down below the sand of dry river beds to uncover it, helping out other desert critters.
- To evade predators, the Hartmann’s mountain zebra can gallop up to 40 miles per hour and jump a six foot wall.
- They can go four days without water.
- Their heart weighs three times as much as a Plains zebra to help them in their high altitude environment.
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