A baby zebra born during lockdown and named Hope to raise spirits as the country battles against coronavirus has died – after it was spooked by fireworks on Bonfire Night.
Keepers at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol attraction have been left "devastated" by the sudden death.
Bosses at the zoo believe loud bangs from local displays frightened the seven-month-old, with a post-mortem later ruling that the sudden impact had caused her immediate death on November 4.
Hope was born at the start of the first lockdown in March and was so-called because keepers said she symbolised "a ray of hope in a bleak time," BristolLive reports.
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.
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Managing Director of the zoo, Larry Bush, 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."
Keepers hope some good can come from the zebra's death by making people realise the impact firework displays can have.
A statement said: "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 went on: "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."
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