Zebra

Newborn Zebra Plays In The Rain

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A five-day-old endangered Grevy’s Zebra ran and bucked in the rain during his first day on exhibit at Zoo Miami

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The foal, who will be named in an online contest, weighed 104 pounds at birth.  He is the first foal for his three-year-old mother, and is the 16th member of this endangered species to be born at Zoo Miami.  He made his exhibit debut alongside his mother and another female Zebra. 

Grevy’s zebras are the largest of all Zebra species and are native to northern Kenya and Ethiopia.  They are distinguished from other Zebra species by their large heads and ears, along with very thin stripes which do not extend to the belly.  Well-adapted to arid regions, Grevy’s Zebras live in herds with up to 100 members. 

In less than 40 years, Grevy’s Zebra populations declined from about 15,000 animals to only about 2,500 today.  Invasive plants have overtaken the native grasses eaten by Zebras, and they must compete with cattle for grazing areas.  Fortunately, hunting has declined and the population appears to have stabilized for now.

See more photos of the foal below.

Continue reading "Newborn Zebra Plays In The Rain" »


Endangered Zebra Foal on Exhibit at Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo announced the birth of a Grevy's Zebra on October 8! The male foal was born, on exhibit, to mother Farasi, and keepers have named him Bosley. Zoo visitors can see the mother and newborn in their outdoor exhibit, weather permitting.

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3_Dever Zoo Bosley and momPhoto Credits: Denver Zoo

Farasi is not a first-time mother, but this recent birth marked the first time she has given birth at Denver Zoo. The father is 15-year-old Punda, who is the only male in the herd. Punda and Farasi were paired under recommendations of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures genetic diversity and healthy populations among zoo animals.

The Grevy’s Zebra (Equus grevyi), also known as the Imperial Zebra, is the largest extant wild equid and the largest and most endangered of the three species of zebra, which includes the Plains Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. Native to Kenya and Ethiopia, the Grevy’s Zebra is named after Jules Grévy, who was president of France in the 1880s. French naturalist Emile Oustalet first described the species in 1882.

Compared to the other zebra species, the Grevy’s Zebra is taller, has larger ears, and narrower stripes. It prefers to live in semi-arid grasslands and feeds on grasses, legumes and browse. It can survive up to five days without water. The Grevy’s Zebra differs from the other species in that it does not live in a harem and does not maintain lasting social bonds.

They can mate and give birth, year-round. Gestation lasts about 390 days. Females with young foals may gather into smaller groups, and mares may leave their foals in ‘kindergartens’ while searching for water, usually protected by a single adult male. In order to adapt to the semi-arid environment they are native to, Grevy’s Zebra foals have longer nursing intervals and wait until they are three months old before they start drinking water. The foals become less dependent on their mothers after 6 months, but they continue their association for up to three years.

The Grevy’s Zebra is classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. It is estimated there are less than 2,500 Grevy’s Zebras still living the wilds of Africa. The main threats the species faces are: loss of habitat, competition for resources with livestock, and being hunted for their skins.


Zoo Brno Visitors Witness Zebra Birth

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On July 15, lucky visitors, to the African Village Exhibit at ZOO Brno, witnessed the birth of a Chapman’s Zebra!

The foal was born, at the Czech zoo, to mom Arwen and dad, Elvis.

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4_11033075_919117998126619_5975114748841858847_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Brno (Images 1 - 4); Marie Pilátová (Images 5 - 11)

The Chapman’s Zebra is a subspecies of the Plains Zebra. Like their relatives, they are native to the savannah of northeast South Africa, north to Zimbabwe, west into Botswana, the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, and southern Angola.

The Chapman's Zebra eats mainly grass and occasionally shrubs. They are currently at low risk status on the IUCN Red List, but like other animals, are still under threat because of habitat destruction and illegal poaching.

Chapman's Zebra is distinguished by stripes on the lower halves of the legs, which break up into many irregular brown spots. The pastern is not completely black on the lower half. When foals are born they have brown stripes, and in some cases, adults do not develop the black coloration in their fur and keep their brown stripes. Males usually weigh 600–800 pounds and stand at 48–52" tall. Females approximately weigh 500–700 pounds and stand as tall as the males

Like most members of the horse family, zebras, in general, are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators.

Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born.

Amazing pics of the birth, taken by Zoo Brno visitor Marie Pilátová, below the fold!

Continue reading "Zoo Brno Visitors Witness Zebra Birth" »


Zebra Foal Sticks Close to Mom At Brookfield Zoo

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A Grevy’s Zebra foal born at the Brookfield Zoo on July 7 stays close to mom as if to say, “You can’t see me!”

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Photo Credit:  Brookfield Zoo

Indeed, Zebras’ striped coats help them blend in with the herd and surrounding vegetation, making them nearly invisible to predators. Like most Zebra foals, this little girl was born with brownish stripes.  The stripes will turn black as she grows.

The foal weighed 100 pounds at birth.  She was born to five-year-old Kali and her mate, 15-year-old Nazim.  The pairing of the two was based on a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP manages breeding to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently, fewer than 200 Grevy's Zebras live in less than 50 accredited North American zoos. This is the first Grevy’s Zebra birth at Brookfield Zoo since 1998.

Grevy’s Zebras, which are the largest of all wild equids, are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The species is now found only in its native habitat of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia and is considered to be extinct in Somalia. Researchers estimate that the Grevy's Zebra population has declined by more than 50 percent over the past two decades, with approximately 2,000 remaining in the wild.

Major threats to the species include reduction of and competition for water sources; habitat degradation and loss due to overgrazing; and hunting. Most Grevy's Zebras live outside of national parks on communal lands, making community participation in their conservation critical.


Bioparc Valencia Welcomes First Zebra of the Season

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Bioparc Valencia, in Spain, recently welcomed their first Zebra foal of the season. Last spring, the Park received a baby boom in their Zebra herd, and, if all goes well, the prospects a very good for a repeat this year. 

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4_Nueva cría de cebra en la Sabana africana de BIOPARC Valencia - 2015Photo Credits: Bioparc Valencia

The Zebra herd, at Bioparc Valencia, is currently composed of one male and four females. They draw quite a bit of attention from visitors (especially children) to the Park’s African Savannah exhibit. Keepers have predicted that several of the mares are currently pregnant.

The Zebra’s popularity has also been utilized in Bioparc Valencia’s newest promotional campaign. A colorful Zebra design is the chosen symbol for the Parks current special admission prices, through the end of June:  http://www.bioparcvalencia.es/en/informacion-al-visitante/promocion-animalada/

Like most members of the horse family, Zebras, in general, are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators.

Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. 

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Zebra Foal’s First Spring at Tiergarten Delitzsch

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On April 11th, a lovely Chapman’s Zebra foal was born, at Tiergarten Delitzsch, in Germany!  The healthy female and her mother, ‘Daisy’, have been enjoying the pleasant spring weather, on exhibit, with three other adult zebras and three Eland Antelopes.

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TD Zebra foal_3Photo Credits: Tiergarten Delitzsch

The Chapman's Zebra eats mainly grass and occasionally shrubs. They are currently at low risk status on the IUCN Red List, but like other animals, are still under threat because of habitat destruction and illegal poaching.

Chapman's Zebra is distinguished by stripes on the lower halves of the legs, which break up into many irregular brown spots. The pastern is not completely black on the lower half. When foals are born they have brown stripes, and in some cases, adults do not develop the black coloration in their fur and keep their brown stripes. Males usually weigh 600–800 pounds and stand at 48–52" tall. Females approximately weigh 500–700 pounds and stand as tall as the males

Like most members of the horse family, zebras, in general, are highly social. Their social structure, however, depends on the species. Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, and only sleep when neighbors are around to warn them of predators.

Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. 

More great pics, below the fold!

Continue reading " Zebra Foal’s First Spring at Tiergarten Delitzsch" »


New Birth Has Virginia Zoo Seeing Stripes

Foal With Abbey

‘Abbey’, a 14-year-old Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, at the Virginia Zoo, gave birth to a female foal April 13th. This is the second foal for Abbey and the first for 11-year-old father ‘Zack’.

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Foal Scale

Photo Credits: Virginia Zoo

This is a significant birth for the species, as Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are threatened in the wild, and there are less than 60 captive individuals in the North American Species Survival Plan (SSP).

“The foal appears very healthy and Abbey is an excellent, experienced mother,” says Virginia Zoo veterinarian Dr. Amanda Guthrie. “We are optimistic that this youngster will thrive and be an important member of the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra SSP population.”

Female zebras produce a single foal every one to three years, after a gestation of approximately one year.  Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern, and after giving birth, the mother will position herself, between her foal and the rest of the herd, so the foal can imprint upon her stripe pattern. The foal will stay with its mother for a little over a year before being weaned.

Abbey and the filly are being given plenty of time to bond behind the scenes before being introduced to the rest of the herd. The Zoo will also make a special announcement when the time comes for the pair to go on public display.

Continue reading "New Birth Has Virginia Zoo Seeing Stripes" »


Grant’s Zebra Born at Prague Zoo

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After 46 years of waiting, Prague Zoo is finally home to a brand new Grant’s Zebra foal! The young stallion is in excellent condition, and he is receiving the attentive care needed from his mother. 

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Photo Credits: Miroslav Bobek /Prague Zoo (Image 1); Jozef Sebíň /Prague Zoo (Images 2,3,4)

Grant’s Zebra is the smallest of six subspecies of plains zebra. They are native to Zambia west of the Luangwa River and west to Kariba, Shaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and north to the Kibanzao Plateau. In Tanzania, north from Nyangaui and Kibwezi, into southwestern Kenya as far as Sotik. The subspecies can also be found in eastern Kenya and east of the Great Rift Valley, into southernmost Ethiopia.

The Grant’s Zebra is vertically striped in front, horizontally on the back legs, and diagonally on the rump and hind flanks. Shadow stripes are generally absent. Northerly specimens may lack a mane.

Grant’s Zebras eat the coarse grasses that grow on the African plains, and they are resistant to diseases that often kill cattle. Therefore, the zebras do well in the African savannas.

They mature to a size of around 3.9 to 4.6 feet (120 to 140cm) tall, and generally reach a max weight of about 660 lbs (300 kilograms). The Grant’s Zebra live in family groups of up to 17 or 18 individuals, and they are led by a single stallion. They live an average of 20 years.

Recent civil wars in its native area have caused dramatic declines in the Zebra’s wild population. However, they are still classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.


New Zebra Not 'Plain as Black and White'

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On February 13th, Zoo Liberec welcomed its 90th Chapman’s Zebra!  The female, named ‘Jin’, was born to mother, ‘Juou’.

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10473621_798742170180209_7185613637680228516_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Liberec

Chapman’s Zebra is a subspecies of the plains zebra. Like their relatives, they are native to the savannah of north-east South Africa, north to Zimbabwe, west into Botswana, Namibia, and southern Angola.

The Chapman’s Zebra eats mainly grass and occasionally shrubs. They are distinguished by stripes on the lower halves of the legs, which break up into many irregular brown spots. When foals are born, they have brown stripes, and in some cases, adults do not develop the black coloration in their fur and keep the brown stripes.

Chapman’s Zebra are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, but they are at risk due to habitat destruction and illegal poaching.

The Zoo Liberec is the oldest in the area of former Czechoslovakia. It was founded in 1919. It was originally used, in part, as the winter quarters for circus animals.

Today, the zoo breeds more than 170 species with an overall number of 1000 individuals. More than 500 animals are registered in different European conservation programs, such as EEP, ESB and RDB. These national programs try to save species facing extinction. 


Chester Zoo Welcomes a Grevy's Zebra

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A rare zebra has been born at Chester Zoo in England. The yet-unnamed youngster, a Grevy’s Zebra, is the first of her speies to be born at the zoo for 34 years.

The foal was born to first-time parents Nadine and Mac on February 22. Her stripes are brown now, but they will turn black as she matures.

Grevy's Zebras, also known as Imperial Zebras, are the largest and most endangered of the three species of zebra. There are thought to be less than 2,500 left in the wild. 

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4 zebraPhoto credits: Steve Rawlins / Chester Zoo

Curator of Mammals Tim Rowlands says, “Since our female zebras arrived a few years ago, we have worked very hard to breed this highly endangered species, and the arrival of this foal is not only a really good achievement for us but good news for the species as a whole.

“She is a lively one but mum Nadine is doing a great job so far, particularly given that it’s her first – she’s certainly earning her parental stripes.”

The Grevy’s Zebra is listed as Endangered in the wild. Today they are found in small, isolated populations in Ethiopia and northern Kenya. They have become regionally extinct in Somalia and Sudan. Their numbers are said to have declined by more than half over the past 20 years, due to a range of factors including the reduction of available water sources, commercial hunting for their skins and disease.

In January 2006, Northern Kenya experienced an outbreak of anthrax triggered by one of the worst droughts that has occurred in decades. The disease threatened to spread throughout the reserves where the most important remaining Grevy’s Zebra populations occur. The Kenya Wildlife Service called for funds to vaccinate up to 1,000 wild Grevy’s Zebras to safeguard them against the disease. The international zoo community, including Chester Zoo, came to the rescue.

Within two weeks, funding was in place and the fast and unprecedented action on the ground averted a potentially disastrous outcome for the species. It is suspected that close to 5% of Grevy’s Zebra succumbed to the disease, but vaccinations prevented a greater loss that could have pushed the species to the brink.