Baby zebra born at Planckendael

Summary

The most endangered of the zebra species have reproduced at Planckendael animal park in Mechelen

Say hello to Tamu

Planckendael animal park in Mechelen has welcomed a new baby zebra. The baby, called Tamu, was born 10 days ago, but the birth was just announced today.

It’s good news for the park, which began a breeding programme this year when it introduced the stallion André to two mares, Luisa and Nele. Tamu – the name means “sweet” in Swahili – is Luisa’s baby, but Nele is also pregnant.

There are three species of zebra, and the Planckendael group are of the Grévy’s zebra species, native to Kenya and Ethiopia. Of the two endangered species, Grévy’s is the most threatened, with the wild population decreasing from 15,000 in the 1970s to 3,000 today.

Because of the temperature, both Planckendael’s mother and baby have been inside, though the park said that if the forecast for slightly warmer temperatures this week is correct, they could make an appearance for a few daylight hours this week.

There are now six members of the Grévy’s zebra family at Planckendael. In addition to the two aforementioned mares and new dad André, there are two old mares, Fanny and Asra. Those two are in their mid-20s, about the life span in the wild, though in captivity zebras can live up to 40 years.

Photo: Jonas Verhulst/Planckendael

Planckendael

Together with Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael is one of Flanders’ two major animal parks. Located in Mechelen, the park was originally established as a refuge for tired and injured animals from the Antwerp Zoo.
History - In 1956, the Royal Society of Animals of Antwerp (KMDA) bought the Planckendael estate, which was built in 1780. The animal park opened four years later.
Expansion - As part of a new €5-million master plan, Planckendael recently introduced a new theme continent (America), updated several animal complexes and grounds and is welcoming entirely new species starting this year.
Sustainable - Every year since 2011, the park has been awarded the Green Key international eco-label for its sustainability efforts. It is one of only nine attractions in Flanders to carry the label.
42

surface area in hectares

810 000

annual visitors in 2012

33

Flemish government KMDA subsidy for 2012-2016 period in millions of euros