There is a new addition at the Cape May County Zoo that has the staff and visitors excited. Zebra parents Ziggy and Greta welcomed to the Zoo family a female foal on Monday night.
Veterinarians and zookeepers are keeping their distance and a watchful eye on the foal and mother at this time, and they are both healthy and doing well.
The zoo is home to three resident zebras that live in the Savannah section of the zoo and roam the zebra yard freely during the day.
Greta and her foal are already out and about, and visitors are welcome to catch a glimpse of them as the foal gets acclimated to her new environment.
Foals can run within an hour of birth.
While the veterinarians knew Greta was expecting, they were watching for the delivery. Gestation is about one year, between 345-390 days. Nearly 50 percent of wild calves are lost due to predation.
“After the past few months, dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and the closing of the Parks and Zoo, it’s a great pleasure to deliver some good news and announce the arrival of the zebra foal,” said Freeholder E. Marie Hayes, liaison of the Parks and Zoo.
Currently, the zoo has one male and two females zebras. Ziggy, the stallion, was born in Michigan in 2012 and called the Cape May County Zoo home in 2018.
Gracie was born at the zoo on June 10, 2003. Greta was also born at the zoo on June 22, 2000.
Zebras are not considered endangered. They have no major threats. But habitat loss and over hunting have led to localized declines. While not specifically protected they are common in many national parks such as Kruger National Park, which is protected.
A group of zebras is called a zeal or a dazzle.
“The Zoo staff is planning to conduct a naming contest and the public will be encouraged to enter and help name the new addition. I encourage residents and visitors alike to come out and enjoy the Parks and Zoo and meet our new arrival,” said Hayes.
She continued, “The Cape May County Zoo is one of the biggest attractions that appeal to visitors of all ages. Our Zoo staff is doing a tremendous job caring for the animals and grounds. Our award-winning Zoo is AZA and ZAA accredited and well known throughout the state and beyond,” Hayes added.
The Cape May County Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. during the summer months. The Park is open from 7 a.m. until dusk.
The Park and Zoo are free, but donations are accepted and greatly appreciated. For the protection of staff, guest and animals, masks, or face coverings are required at the zoo for visitors over the age of two.