After a yearlong wait, Utah’s Hogle Zoo successfully captured the birth of a new 98-pound male zebra on camera.
Ziva, a 10-year-old Hartmann’s mountain zebra, delivered the baby zebra — also called a foal — at approximately 7:11 p.m. on June 2. Within the first hour of his birth, the foal nursed, stood on his own and began walking.
“He was super active right off the bat, super energetic and doing lots of what we like to call zoomies,” said Rachel Mozingo, a senior keeper of the zoo’s African Savanna exhibit.
“Zoomies” are playful gallops that are natural behavior for young zebras in the wild who need to quickly be on the move from predators after birth, she said.
Visitors can now catch a glimpse of the yet-to-be-named baby zebra in the African Savanna exhibit. The zoo has launched an online auction to name the foal that will remain open until Monday at 5 p.m.
“We are a nonprofit, and so it’s just a fun way for us to help involve the public and help educate them about the zebra population as well as the costs associated with caring for the foal,” said Rachael Eames, the marketing and public relations manager for Utah’s Hogle Zoo.
The new foal joins the zoo’s herd of Hartmann’s mountain zebras, including Ziva (his mother), Scooby (his father), as well as Zibby, Poppy, Bryce and Corkeey. One of three species of zebra in the world, Hartmann’s mountain zebras are considered vulnerable, which is one level below endangered according to Mozingo.
The successful birth marks Ziva’s fourth delivery at Hogle Zoo, following a recommendation from the Species Survival Program, which aims to ensure responsible breeding by considering the genetic history of animals under human care. The Hogle Zoo participates in the program for several species.
“Basically, it’s a matchmaking program for animals, and that’s to keep up the genetic diversity of our species,” Mozingo said. “[It’s to] make sure that they’re not inbreeding with each other and that we have a good solid population of individuals so if the species ever did go extinct in the wild, we could have a captive population that was potentially able to be released.”
This Wednesday, Hogle Zoo is holding its second Zoo Brew event of 2023, titled “Pride With Our Pride,” from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets can be found on the zoo’s website for $18.95 for member adults and $21.95 for nonmembers. The event is 21+.
At the event, attendees can “enjoy delicious brews from local breweries, savor a bite, and experience wildlife while you explore the zoo after hours,” according to the zoo’s website. The event will benefit African lions through the Nisassa Carnivore Project in Mozambique, which creates training and education programs to reduce human-animal conflict.