A zebra born at a Gloucestershire wildlife park has been named after Dame Vera Lynn in a nod to lyrics used to inspire hope during the coronavirus pandemic.
Born on June 7, Vera was named after the Queen punctuated a speech to the UK public during lockdown with words from Dame Vera’s 1939 song, We’ll Meet Again.
The baby zebra is the first of her near-threatened species ever to have been born at the Wild Place Project, Bristol, which has been closed since March 20.
“Every birth is special but this one is particularly special during this difficult time,” said Will Walker, animal manager at the conservation park.
“She is a lovely foal and we are looking forward to our imminent reopening when people can come and see her.”
Vera is around a metre tall and her stripes are currently brown, although they will darken as she grows.
She is the foal of Florence, 10, and five-year-old Peter.
“Vera began suckling very soon after she was born and was walking around within a matter of minutes,” Mr Walker said.
“Florence is being a good mum so all the signs are very encouraging.”
The number of plains zebras like Vera are declining in their native Africa due to hunting and loss of habitat, and they are classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“Her birth will hopefully help to raise awareness of the future of this near threatened species as their population in the wild continues to fall,” added Mr Walker.
Zoos across the UK are set to reopen on Monday June 15.