Zookeepers at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, England have two new equid additions to celebrate.
On August 20th, a critically endangered and adorable African wild ass was born. There are currently fewer than 200 African wild asses left in the wild. The equine species is native to Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia and have had their numbers reduced by human hunting. The newest addition is a colt but hasn’t been named yet; his dam, Nadifa, was also born at Marwell and this is her third foal. The sire is Lars, and this is his fifth offspring.
Watch a video of the adorable new addition here:
Then on August 29, an endangered Grévy’s Zebra foal was born to dam Ellen and sire Angus. The zoo refers to the baby zebra as its “newest mischief maker” and according to its website, “in the wild, Grévy’s zebras are found in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia, where it is thought there are fewer than 2,000 still in existence.”
Ellen and her foal are part of a European ex situ breeding program whose goal is to maintain a healthy population of Grévy’s Zebra in captivity while maintaining genetic diversity. Marwell holds the studbooks for both Grévy’s and Hartmann’s zebra.
“Currently the European ex situ breeding program (EEP) for the Grevy’s zebra has very low numbers of zebra. The birth of any Grevy’s zebra foal is therefore very much needed and welcome,” Tanya Langenhorst, Conservation Biologist at Marwell Wildlife, said in a statement. “We also work in the field to conserve the Grevy’s zebra in the remote north of Kenya. We have a network of 24 scouts who patrol the area daily, record all sightings of wildlife and set camera traps to monitor the movement and behaviour of the species.”
With the African wild ass and Grévy’s zebra foals frolicking around, visitors to the Marwell Zoo have plenty of cuteness to watch.