This month we have introduced a playful Przewalski’s horse, a beautiful blesbok and a Javan chevrotain!
Two-year-old Lungta has joined Marwell from Port Lympne Animal Park in Kent, and she is putting her best hoof forward!
Lungta can be spotted strutting her stuff with her fellow female paddock mates, Leia and Te-em, in the field behind Cafe Graze. This brings our total number of Przewalski’s horses to three! These beautiful yet endangered species are part of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).
The Przewalski’s horse faced a dramatic decline in numbers in the last century and in the 1960’s they were classed as ‘extinct in the wild’. This status was later reviewed when at least one Przewalski’s horse was found in the wild. Since then, successful breeding has led to reintroduction programmes in protected areas of Mongolia. Captive breeding programmes in zoos are still ongoing today.
We were delighted to welcome Frieda, the blesbok, joining the two females who arrived in January.
Blesbok are a new species to the zoo and a Marwell first and have all recently moved to their enclosure behind the Tropical House.
Four-year-old Frieda ventured out into her paddock for the first time in mid-July and is settling in well according to keepers.
Frieda is easy to spot as she’s a little smaller and darker than her fellow paddock-mates.
Blesbok were once found in great numbers in South Africa, but over-hunting by European settlers reduced their numbers to about 2,000 by the late 19th century. Since then they have been protected, and have made an impressive recovery.
Both staff and guests have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new Javan chevrotain (also known as mouse deer), Gertrude!
Gertrude has joined us from Vogelpark Avifauna, based in the Netherlands, but her species are usually found on the island of Java in Indonesia. She was born on 11th November 2017
Javan chevrotain reach sexual maturity at three to five months old and are part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP).
We introduced Gertrude to our male javan chevrotain, Gus, who lives in the forest floor of the Tropical House at the end of the July and the pair are getting along swimmingly! We would love to bring you news of the pitter patter of tiny hooves in the future.
In other news…
We are saddened to announce the death of our much-loved Bactrian camel, Marmaduke.
Born on 17 March 2008 at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Marmaduke came to us when he was just nine months old.
We are awaiting the results of Marmaduke’s post mortem but it appears he had a degenerative muscle or nerve issue. He was showing issues with his coordination and he was spending more and more time sitting down.
His keepers said: “Marmaduke was a very big character, boisterous with a lot of attitude but he was also very affectionate. He was a lovely animal to work with and will be very missed by his keepers and his companion, Darwin.”