For Immediate Release
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 2, 2019) Blank Park Zoo is announcing that a pair of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra named ‘Duke’ and ‘Duchess’ have been added to the Zoo. The zebra are three and four years old.
“Zebra are one of the top requests guests have asked me to bring to Blank Park Zoo,” said Mark Vukovich, CEO. “There are only 35,000 mountain zebras left in natural areas, so we are proud they will be able to participate in the Species Survival Program to help preserve and protect zebras for future generations.”
Since zebras can be easily startled, keepers took several months of introducing the zebra to their new habitat, allowing access to their habitat without guests.
Zookeepers are currently introducing the Zebra to a pair of ostriches. Until this introduction is complete, the Zebra will time-share the habitat with the ostriches and guests will be able to see the zebras every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Blank Park Zoo previously had a pair of plains zebra that left in 2011 when the Zoo began the construction of the Meredith Jammaa Kwa Africa section of the Zoo.
About Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra (source: IUCNredlist.org)
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra are native to the mountainous grasslands, savanna and shrubland of Namibia, Angola and South Africa and are listed as a ‘vulnerable’ species by IUCN Red List, with approximately 35,000 mature individuals remaining. They are grazers and live in herds comprised of an adult male, three female and their offspring. Populations are threatened by habitat loss, hunting and drought. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the median life expectancy of a mountain zebra is 12.3 years for a male and 15.5 years for a female.
About Blank Park Zoo
The mission of Blank Park Zoo is to inspire and appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. Blank Park Zoo is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily. Admission rates are $14 for adults, $8 for children under 12, and $11 for seniors and active military. Children two years and under and Blank Park Zoo members are free. The Zoo is located at 7401 SW 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50315. Visit the Zoo online at http://www.blankparkzoo.com. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) The AZA is America’s leading accrediting organization that sets rigorous, professional standards for zoos and aquariums. The AZA is building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement by engaging and inspiring the 143 million annual visitors to its member institutions and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.