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Grevy’s zebra foal born at US park

Samburu and her new foal.

Samburu and her new foal.

The population of the Grevy’s zebra is on the increase, with a new foal born in West Virginia a welcome addition to the endangered species.

The foal was born at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia in the US on September 29.

The youngster’s mum, Samburu, also had a foal last year. Grevy’s mares have a 13-month gestation.

The foal’s birth is another welcome boost to numbers of the species, and follows the birth of two Grevy’s foals at Denver Zoo in recent months, and another at Phoenix Zoo in January.

Grevy’s zebra are considered “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with a wild population estimated at fewer than 2000 individuals. In 1977 there were about 15,200 Grevy’s zebra. They are considered extinct in Somalia. Their largest threats come from loss of habitat, competition with livestock and poaching. They have disappeared from most of their former habitats and are now only found in dry deserts and open grasslands in northern Kenya and south eastern Ethiopia.

Grevy’s zebra were named for Jules Grevy, a former president of France, to whom the first known specimen of the animal was sent in 1882. The largest of all wild equine species, they can be distinguished from other zebras – plains and mountain – by their longer legs, more narrow stripes, white, stripeless underbellies and large rounded ears.

 

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