Florida zoo welcomes its first Grévy’s zebra foals

Share
Iggy and her colt foal, who was born on June 30. At birth, he weighed about 84 pounds.
Iggy and her colt foal, who was born on June 30. At birth, he weighed about 84 pounds. © Brevard Zoo

Two Grévy’s zebra mares at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida, produced foals just a month apart, with the first arrival, a colt born to Lauren on June 1, the very first of the species to be born at the zoo.

Lauren’s colt was followed by a colt born on June 30, from Iggy, an 11-year-old mare. The two colts are half brothers, both being by Bakari, who arrived from Denver Zoo in 2020 as a Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation.

Grévy’s zebras have a gestation of 13 months, and staff had initially thought Iggy’s foal would be born first.

Lauren Hinson, the Zoo’s director of animal programs, said Lauren was a hand-reared, first-time mom, and was “doing a great job raising her foal”.

Grévy’s zebras in their natural range typically separate themselves from their herd after giving birth, and the zoo was mimicking this as closely as possible by allowing the mares and foals to have isolated bonding time.

Iggy and 18-year-old Zonka were the first Grévy’s zebra at Brevard Zoo, south-east of Orlando, arriving in 2015. Eight-year-old Lauren followed a year later.

The zebras spend their days in different Expedition Africa habitats, eating their usual meal of coastal hay, near giraffe, ankole-watusi cattle, impala, dromedary camels and other species.

Lauren's colt was born on June 1, and weighed 88 pounds at birth.
Lauren’s colt was born on June 1, and weighed 88 pounds at birth. © Brevard Zoo

SSPs manage the populations of animals within accredited zoos to ensure healthy, genetically diverse groups – especially important for the endangered Grévy’s zebra.

Grévy’s zebras are endangered through habitat loss, human hunting and competition for resources with domestic hoofstock. These issues may be exacerbated by this species being found only in small pockets of Kenya and Ethiopia, restricting it to a much narrower range than the more abundant and commonly known plains zebra.

Brevard Zoo supports the work of the Grévy’s Zebra Trust, which estimates there are about 3000 of the species in the wild.

Bakari—whose name means “noble oath” in Swahili—was born at Phoenix Zoo in early 2013 and moved to Denver when he was five. He sired one colt there, born in May 2020.

Unlike mares, who live in social groups, Grévy’s zebra stallions will typically only associate with other members of their species to reproduce.

Bakari is the sire of the two new colt foals at Brevard Zoo in Florida.
Bakari is the sire of the two new colt foals at Brevard Zoo in Florida. © Brevard Zoo

Horsetalk.co.nz

Latest research and information from the horse world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.