Next time you are at the zoo make sure you say hello to our new hooved arrivals, two Arabian oryx calves, a Grevy’s zebra and a mountain bongo!
A new Grevy’s zebra Khena arrived from Sigean in France to join the herd earlier this month. Khena, born 21 May 2011, is settling in well after being mixed with female Nafeesa and male Grevy’s Fonzy for recommended breeding as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP). The trio can be found in the Roan antelope paddock behind Marwell Hall.
Females can start to breed between the ages of two and three and males can breed from about four years old, but it is very unlikely until they are older. This is because males hold territories and mate with females who enter their territory. Lower rank males (who are often younger) cannot hold their own territory so they form bachelor groups. Grevy’s zebra can breed at any time of the year but most foals are born during the long rains between April and June. The foals can stand within one hour of being born and look a little different to the adults as they have reddish-brown stripes that darken to black as they get older. Female Grevy’s zebra give birth to a foal about once every two years.
Meet our two new Arabian oryx calves, Galaxy and Orion. We’re the only UK zoo to keep this ‘vulnerable’ species so the arrival of our two calves is positive news for the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP). Both calves are thriving with their mothers, Roxanne and Renee, in the paddock opposite the meerkats, near Cafe Graze.
Arabian oryx were hunted to extinction in 1972, but thanks to successful captive breeding and reintroduction efforts, the species is now facing a more secure future with its wild population growing to around 1,100.
Have you spotted Ituri, our new male mountain bongo? Ituri has joined our all-female herd and can be found in the Heart of Africa, which is behind the giraffe house. Our keepers say he is settling in very well and we are hoping he will be a successful breeder, contributing to the European Endangered Species Programme to ensure the survival of this ‘critically endangered’ species in captivity.