Stripey Xmas Debut for Western Plains Zoo
Monday 10th December 2007

10th Dec 2007

Western Plains Zoo's newest addition, a male giraffe calf, shortly after his birth on 6 December 2007.
Photo: Tim Portas

Western Plains Zoo is belatedly celebrating the arrival of a gorgeous Zebra foal born on 21 October 2007 whilst the herd was off display as a precautionary measure against Equine Influenza (EI).

The foal, which has been named Kwasi (meaning ‘born on Sunday'), is the third for mother Kampala and father Tano.  Both mother and foal have been doing well since the birth and are now on exhibit with the rest of the Zoo's Zebra herd.

Zebra Keeper John Davis said: "As is the case with most foals, Kwasi was born with a very woolly coat which he will lose in time. Now just over six weeks old, Kwasi spends most of his time trotting around close to his mother and frolicking with the other members of the herd."

"Kampala is an experienced mother and is again doing all the right things with Kwasi. Her last foal - Pundamillia - is now on display in the Zoo's Savannah exhibit," John said.

This latest addition brings the herd to a total of four Zebra, all now on display. The Zoo's Przewalski's Horses and Persian Onagers have also returned to their exhibits, having all received their EI vaccination.

The Zebras, Przewalski's Horses and Persian Onagers were taken off exhibit in September 2007 and held in behind-the-scenes holding yards as a precautionary measure against Equine Influenza.  Since this time the Western Plains Zoo has been in consultation with the Department of Primary Industries regarding the vaccination of all equine species in the Zoo.

"Western Plains Zoo's veterinary staff conducted vaccinations of the Zebras, Przewalski's Horse and Persian Onagers over the required four week period, to ensure they would be protected against EI before returning to display," Western Plains Zoo Senior Veterinarian Benn Bryant said.

"The Zoo's veterinary team has given the Zebras, Przewalski's Horse and Persian Onagers the all clear to return to their exhibits as they should now be protected against Equine Influenza having been vaccinated."

Zebra (Equus Burchellii or Plains Zebra): The Plains Zebra is quite stout.  Shoulder height varies from 120 to 140cm.  Broad vertical stripes on the sides bend on the flanks and 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 the bray of a donkey.  Distribution: Plains Zebras are secure across their range.  Distribution which extends from Southern Sudan through East Africa to the Zambezi River.  There may be some 300, 000 left in the wild.  Reproduction: Gestation is 361 - 390 days.  Newborns have brown stripes and are long-legged.

Western Plains Zoo is located in Central West NSW, just five hours from Sydney and Newcastle and ten hours from Brisbane and Melbourne on the Newell Highway. The Zoo is open from 9.00am to 4.00pm (exit gates close at 5.00pm) every day of the year. For more information please call (02) 6881 1400 or visit www.zoo.nsw.gov.au.