A baby zebra in the U.K. has died after being frightened during a night of local celebrations.
Hope, who was born at Bristol's Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm while England was under its first coronavirus lockdown in March, died on Wednesday after being startled by some loud fireworks, which were set off in honor of Bonfire Night. (Also known as Guy Fawkes Day, an annual celebration commemorating the failed 1605 plot to blow up the British Parliament building.)
"It is believed that Hope became spooked by the loud bangs of fireworks from several fireworks displays held locally on the evening of Wednesday 4th November. It appears that the fright caused the animal to bolt and she collided with the boundary of the enclosure," the zoo wrote in a statement. "The post-mortem has revealed that this sudden impact caused her immediate death."
Although Hope’s time on this earth was brief, her birth symbolized "a ray of light and hope at a time which felt so bleak."
"She became a symbol of positivity to our keepers and many of our visitors alike and she will be very much missed," the zoo wrote.
"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," said senior zookeeper Jayne Gibbins.
Added managing zoo director Larry Bush, "We’re feeling devastated by the loss of our young zebra Hope. She was so full of energy and life."
In addition to mourning the loss of Hope, the zoo is also pointing out that although festive, fireworks can have a deadly impact on animals.
"As a zoo, we are determined that something good comes out of this and so we feel it is so important that people are aware of what has happened — we hope people will change their views about fireworks and become much more aware of the impact they can have on animals," they wrote.
"We would like to use this tragic event as an impetus for change and we really hope that people will now think hard and adopt alternative arrangements like silent fireworks or other more animal-friendly options for their bonfire night celebrations," the zoo added.
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