Father’s Day was celebrated the ‘zoo way’ at Lincoln Park Zoo, with the arrival of a female Grevy’s Zebra foal. It is the first zebra birth at the zoo since 2012.
Animal care staff arrived at about 7 a.m. Saturday, June 18 to find mom and foal standing in the yard together. This is the first offspring for 5-year-old sire, Webster, and the third foal for 9-year-old dam, Adia. Her most recent offspring, Kito, resides in the yard next door.
“We’re thrilled to welcome this new foal to Lincoln Park Zoo,” said Curator Diane Mulkerin “Like all the animals in our care, zebras play an important role in educating our guests about wildlife.”
The Grevy's Zebra is endangered in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Grevy's Zebra Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Grevy's Zebra is native to eastern Africa, where it ranges from Ethiopia to Kenya.
“Research tells us that fostering an emotional connection between humans and animals is key to creating a real commitment to wildlife conservation,” said Lincoln Park Zoo Vice President of Education and Community Engagement Dana Murphy. “Species like zebras, with which we are relatively familiar—and become so at an early age—help us forge that connection and inspire our guests to care about their future.”
The Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi), also known as the imperial zebra, is the largest extant wild equid and the largest and most threatened of the three species of zebra, the other two being the plains zebra and the mountain zebra. Named after Jules Grévy, it is the sole extant member of the subgenus Dolichohippus. The Grevy's Zebra is found in Kenya and Ethiopia. Compared with other zebras, it is tall, has large ears, and its stripes are narrower.
Grevy's Zebras don't live in permanent herds. Instead, they gather in temporary, fluid groups on the savanna. Females can breed year-round and give birth to single foals after a gestation period lasting more than a year. Foals can stand within minutes of birth and run short distances within an hour, a useful adaptation for keeping up with their mothers on the plains.