Baby zebra dies after getting spooked by fireworks

11 November 2020, 06:47

Baby hope died after believing to get spooked by fireworks
Baby hope died after believing to get spooked by fireworks. Picture: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

By Kate Buck

A Bristol Zoo is calling for people to consider alternatives to fireworks after a baby zebra died after getting spooked and bolting into a fence.

Hope, who was born at Noah's Ark Farm Zoo, is thought to have ran after getting frightened by fireworks displays on 4 November.

But tragedy struck after she hit the boundary of her enclosure, and an investigation found she died from the impact.

Devastated keepers said the young zebra would be "very much missed"

The zoo says it is determined for something positive to come out of her death and wants to make members of the public aware of what happened.

It hopes the incident will cause people to change their views about fireworks and become more aware of the impact they can have on animals.

Keepers are urging people to adopt alternative arrangements, such as silent fireworks or other animal-friendly options, for their next celebration.

Larry Bush, managing director of the zoo, said: "We're feeling devastated by the loss of our young zebra Hope.

"She was so full of energy and life and she was a very healthy young zebra.

"It is such a tragedy that she has lost her life, seemingly as a result of fireworks being set off at nearby events which were intended as a celebration.

"We know this was not the intention of local organisers and people letting off fireworks but it does demonstrate in a tragic way the impact that fireworks can have on animals - whether this be zebras, horses, native wildlife or pets in our homes."

Hope was born at the start of the first lockdown in March and was given her name to symbolise a ray of light in a time that felt bleak, the zoo said.

Jayne Gibbins, a senior keeper at the zoo, said: "Her birth was a real high point for us in amongst the challenges of having to close the zoo for three months in support of the national lockdown and we are all feeling her loss greatly."