SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s Hogle Zoo welcomed a new family member after 12 months of waiting, when their resident Hartmann’s mountain zebra, Ziva, gave birth to her newest baby.
Hogle Zoo said the newborn zebra, otherwise known as a foal, arrived healthy at 7:11 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and weighed in at 98 pounds.
Within the first hour, the foal was standing on his own and walking around the pen. Within two hours, he was already showing his energy, getting a case of the “zoomies,” or little gallops. The Hogle Zoo said early zoomies are a natural behavior for newborn foals in the wild, as they have to be able to move quickly to avoid predators after birth.
The whole birth was captured safely on camera and monitored remotely by animal keepers. Director of Utah’s Hogle Zoo Animal Care Melissa Dacumos said remote monitoring is important so animal keepers do not disturb the natural birthing process.
“We monitor the birth remotely because it is so important that we give mom and baby space and time to naturally connect in this start of life,” explained Dacumos. “After Ziva and her foal were able to have privacy for the entire first night while being monitored via camera only, our zookeepers began quietly entering their space the next morning.”
Utah Hogle Zoo said this is Ziva’s fourth successful birth at the zoo. Ziva and her partner, Scooby, were paired through the Species Survival Program to help vulnerable species repopulate. Hartmann’s mountain zebras are one of three zebra species in the world and are considered vulnerable to extinction. They are native to the deserts and semi-deserts of southwestern Africa and live at elevations of up to 6,600 feet.
The Hogle Zoo currently has a herd of seven Hartmann’s mountain zebras, including Ziva, Scooby, and their newborn foal. Zibby, Poppy, Bryce, and Corkeey are also part of the herd.
The newborn foal doesn’t have a name yet. The Hogle Zoo is accepting bids through an auction to win the naming rights for the newest family member. Bidding to name the baby zebra is open now and will close at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 12. Money raised from the auction will go toward taking care of the newborn and his family.
Zoogoers will be able to meet the new zebra foal in the African Savanna exhibit of Utah’s Hogle Zoo starting today. Dacumos said the zoo is excited for guests to meet the newborn and learn about preserving Hartmann’s mountain zebra in the wild.