Image: © ZSL
August 8, 2023 10:08 am
Whipsnade, England, The United Kingdom
After a thirteen month wait keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have been thrilled by the birth of an endangered Grevy’s zebra foal. The team at the zoo are celebrating this exciting addition to the population of this threatened species.
The new arrival has been named Zinabi by keepers meaning raindrop in the Ethiopian language of Amharic. His name recognizes the rain which was falling across Whipsnade on the day he was born. While a common sight on the Dunstable Downs rain is a cause for celebration in Zinabi’s native Ethiopia.
Zookeepers Michael Hepher said, ”“Raindrops are a good thing in areas where there is extreme drought – caused in part by climate change – putting both human and animal lives at risk. Zinabi was born on a rainy Sunday and is a cause for celebration, as his birth marks the next generation of hope for the Endangered species – we thought it was the perfect name.”
At 11 years old the foal resembles a perfect miniature of mother, Hanna.
Michael added: “We knew Henna was expecting early on, but with zebras having such a long gestation we had to be patient. A few days before she gave birth, she separated herself from the herd, as is common in the wild, and in the early hours of Sunday morning (23 July) we found her curled up with the tiny newborn on a bed of straw.
“Within hours, the little one was wobbling around on his four gangly feet, with mum nudging and encouraging him to try again whenever he faltered. In the wild, zebra foals need to be up and moving quickly, in case any predators are lurking nearby, and Zinabi did a great job of taking his first few steps.”
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list the Grevy’s zebra as endangered. Less than 2,000 individuals remain across the horn of Africa where they can be found.
“Sadly, in the wild Grevy’s zebras face a slew of threats, from habitat loss due to development, degradation to grazing land from livestock, hunting, as well as disease from unvaccinated livestock,” added Michael.
ZSL the conservation charity which operate Whipsnade Zoo are helping to protect wildlife across the globe as Michael explained, “We’re working with zoos globally to ensure there is a healthy and genetically diverse back-up population of Grevy’s zebras, in case their numbers fall further. Meanwhile our ZSL colleagues are working to protect Kenya’s ecosystems through training young conservationists, engaging with local communities and helping to address human-wildlife conflict. Every visitor we welcome this summer will be supporting this vital work.”
Text. Image: © ZSL
About the Author
Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.
Image: © ZSL
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