Virginia Zoo Welcomes Athena the Baby Zebra

Mother Abby and Newborn Athena. Photo Courtesy: The Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo says their Hartmann Mountain Zebra Abby gave birth to a female foal on Monday.

Photo Courtesy: The Virginia Zoo

Zookeepers named the newborn “Athena” which the zoo says is based on a tradition of choosing a name with same first initial as the mother.

Virginia Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Colleen Clabbers, says the foal weighed 80 pounds and is approximately three feet tall. “Abby is a great, experienced mom and is taking good care of baby Athena,” Clabbers said on the Virginia Zoo’s blog.

Female zebras produce a single foal every one to three years after a gestation of approximately one year, according to Clabbers. This is mother Abby’s fourth baby.

The Virginia Zoo says this is a significant birth for the species as Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are a threatened species in the wild. There are less than 60 of them in the North American zoos and the Virginia Zoo has a total of four now.

Abby and little Athena will remain behind the scenes during the cooler weather.