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NORRISTOWN – Elmwood Park Zoo is thrilled to announce the addition of two Hartmann’s mountain zebras to its animal collection. The two female zebras – Hannah and McKenzie – were born on a private reserve near Austin, Texas.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are native to southwestern Angola and western Namibia in Africa. They are distinguishable from other zebra subspecies by a sizable flap of skin on their throat, called a dewlap.
Hannah and McKenzie have been slowly acclimating to their new indoor enclosure and outdoor exhibit space. They currently occupy the space adjacent to the giraffe yard. Once they have shown that they are comfortable in their new surroundings, they will join the giraffes in the large enclosure.
“It has long been a standard practice in many zoological institutions for giraffe and zebra to be exhibited as mixed species,” said Dave Wood, Animal Curator for the Elmwood Park Zoo. “Comfort level and individual personalities of the animals dictate how long the introduction process will take.”
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Their arrival at Elmwood Park Zoo is managed by the Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). The program monitors the breeding of select species living in AZA-accredited facilities across the country. It is the zoo’s hope that the SSP program decides to pair the zoo’s zebras with a mate for breeding.
“Our two females are new bloodlines to the Hartmann’s mountain zebra SSP program,” said Wood. “Future offspring from these zebra will be important genetic additions to the overall breeding program.”
“We are overjoyed to add such beautiful and distinctive animals to our zoo’s family,” said Al Zone, Executive Director and CEO for Elmwood Park Zoo. “They join our giraffes and fruit bats in expanding the zoo’s African collection and continue our move toward presenting animals from all over the globe.”