AMBITIOUS plans to open a new zoo in Redditch continue to accelerate with the announcement of their first conservation partnership.

Heart of England Wildlife Park have announced a collaboration with the Grevy’s Zebra Trust who work to safeguard endangered Grevy’s zebra from the threat of extinction in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Grevy’s zebra are the world’s most endangered species of zebra with only 3,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

It is hoped that Grevy’s zebra could soon be coming to Redditch as part of a co-ordinated international programme to maintain a captive population of the species. Grevy’s zebra numbers in the wild plummeted in the 1970’s due to hunting for their skins and they have recently come under threat in recent years due to habitat loss caused by over grazing of domestic livestock such as cattle and goats, and infrastructure development across their range.

“Most people don’t realise that there are substantially less Grevy’s zebra in the wild than there are African Elephants,” said Heart of England Wildlife Park’s Director, Martin Blyth.

“As a modern wildlife park, we are fully committed to educating our supporters about the threats posed to animal species in the wild and we are committed to raising funds to support the work of organisations such as the Grevy’s Zebra Trust out in the field.”

To celebrate the announcement of the partnership between the two organisations, Heart of England Wildlife Park will be hosting a conservation webinar via Facebook Live on Wednesday, September 23 at 7.30pm.

Guests will be able to hear directly from Sheila Funnell, Program Manager for the Grevy’s Zebra Trust and hear more about the work that rangers in the field have been doing to protect wildlife during the coronavirus pandemic.

The online event is completely free and can be accessed via Heart of England Wildlife Park’s Facebook page.