RARE STAR – WITH STRIPES – CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY

The UK’s only Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra to be born in the past decade is celebrating his first birthday at Blackpool Zoo tomorrow (Tuesday 28th February).

Tebogo was one of only 26 foals to arrive across the entire world in 2011 and he took the number of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras in captivity in the UK to 14.

He was named by specialist keepers that cared for his mother Helene during her pregnancy. Tebogo is a south South African name which means ‘we are thankful’.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011 lists Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras as Vulnerable with a total population of less than 9000 mature individuals.

Current studies indicate that this number could decline by more than 10 per cent in the next 25 years due to an increase in hunting and loss of natural habitat to agriculture.

Sofie Haugaard, Blackpool Zoo’s Senior Large Mammal Keeper, said: “Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra births are extremely rare and the entire team here at Blackpool Zoo were delighted when we broke a nine year absence of new babies in the UK last year.

“It has been great to see him flourish over the past 12 months and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow.”

Tanya Langenhorst, the International Studbook Keeper & European Breeding Programme Co-ordinator, added: “The birth of this foal was hugely important and wonderful news for the breeding programme and Blackpool Zoo as it adds not only another foal, but two more proven breeders to the European population.

“I would like to wish Tebogo a very happy first birthday and congratulate keepers on the fantastic job they have done since he was born.”

Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are native to Namibia and most commonly found in the extremely harsh environmental conditions of the Kunene Region in the North West.

There are four Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras at Blackpool Zoo. Eighteen year old female Bette shares the paddock with proud parents Helene and Fernando, who are seven and six respectively.

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Notes to editors:

Pictures show : Tebogo on his own and with mother Helene. Please see below links to pictures. To download either high or low res images click on the picture and you will taken to a website to download. If you require pictures sending direct please email paula@icgonline.co.uk

Interview opportunities: Interviews with senior keepers and management at Blackpool Zoo can be arranged on request.

Filming and further photography can be arranged on request

More information about Blackpool Zoo:

Blackpool Zoo’s visitor numbers continued to hit record highs in 2011, with the year being hailed as the busiest in the zoo’s 39 year history.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

For further information please contact:

Paula Holden, Julie Hackett or Denise Dawson at ICG on 01772 679383 or email paula@icgonline.co.uk Julie@icgonline.co.uk or denise@icgonline.co.uk

Out of office hours contact: Paula Holden on 07772268378            

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