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The keepers at Newquay Zoo are thrilled by the birth of a rare female Black Wildebeest and the new arrival, named Poppy, is being hand-reared round the clock.

Originally found in western Swaziland and Lesotho, the Black Wildebeest was hunted to near extinction in the late 19th Century, and although the population has recovered in protected areas, the species does not exist in the wild.

The Zoo has pioneered recent breeding for this difficult species since 2008, being the first UK Zoo to house Black Wildebeest after an absence of 20 years. Since then they have celebrated the arrival of four youngsters in total, with the latest calf born on 16th June.

John Meek, animal collections manager, says: “We are delighted by the arrival of this beautiful little female, and I admit that I already have a soft spot for her! Successful breeding of notoriously difficult species such as the Black Wildebeest, is a result of the dedication, care and hard work of the keepers here at Newquay Zoo, and the birth of a female in particular is very important to help safeguard a future for this magnificent animal”

Newquay Zoos’ participates in international breeding programs for many different animals, which aim to ensure the survival of endangered species, and the zoo works in collaboration with zoos and conservation charities worldwide to preserve and protect many threatened species.

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