We are sad to share that our three-month-old zebra calf, who was born with mobility issues in both his front legs and his stifles (hind limbs) that would only have worsened with time, has had to be euthanased.

From his first days, our vet staff and specialist ungulate keepers observed this foal to be unsteady and stiff in his legs, and monitored him very closely. He was treated with medication, and his mother Layla continued to be a great mum to him.

However, he was not improving sufficiently, and a full examination of the foal under anaesthetic earlier this month was performed. Examination and radiographs taken of all his joints confirmed what Zoo vets suspected – that he had congenital conditions.

“Along with missing a patella (knee cap) in one leg, which resulted in the built up of of fluid in the joint and causing chronic pain this foal had problems with all his limbs, and was also not growing at the normal rate we’d expect,” says Auckland Zoo senior vet, Dr An Pas.

“These decisions are always really tough, especially with young animals, but as we could not resolve his issues to give him the quality of life he deserved, this was absolutely the right and kindest decision for him,” says Auckland Zoo senior vet, Dr An Pas.

Auckland Zoo has three other zebra; adult female Layla and her one-year-old daughter Eve, and 12-year-old male, Carlo.