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Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a Zebra foal, which was born in the early hours of Saturday 26 September 2009.  After starting their usual rounds on Saturday, keepers discovered the foal and mother on exhibit, just hours after the foal had been born.

The filly named Zahra, meaning flower in Swahili, was born to mother Kioni and father Tano.  Zahra is the first foal for Kioni, who has been a good mother from day one.

“Both mother and foal are doing well. Zahra has been out on exhibit from just a few hours of age, much to the delight of Zoo visitors,” said keeper Carolene Magner.

“Zahra is quite confident but spends the majority of her time close by mum, although she does enjoy a frolic out on the exhibit occasionally.”

“The foal is adorable and whilst it looks very long legged at the moment it will grow up to have a stout and solid build like its mother and the other Zebra in the herd.”

“Zahra is certainly a popular arrival at the Zoo, with lots of visitors stopping at the exhibit to see the new addition. I am sure the exhibit will become even more popular, with the NSW school holidays starting tomorrow,” said Carolene.

Spring is definitely in full swing at the Zoo with a number Barbary Sheep also giving birth over the past week. Four lambs have been born to the Barbary Sheep herd and are all out on exhibit.

Plains Zebra are recognisable by their broad vertical stripes on the sides and bends on the flanks that become horizontal across the rump. The stripes extend down the legs and hooves. The pattern of stripes is unique to each individual. The Plains Zebra has a bark unlike a neigh of a horse or a bray of a donkey. Newborns generally have brown stripes and are long-legged.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW and is open everyday from 9am to 4pm. For more information about the Zoo contact 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

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