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Yipes! Stripes! It's a Rare Grevy's Zebra Foal!


A male Grevy’s Zebra was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Saturday, February 26. Eclipse, the 17-year-old mother of the foal, came to the Jacksonville Zoo from White Oak Conservation Center, where she was bred in January 2010.   Officials from White Oak advised that the father of the foal is an unnamed resident stallion born in 1999.  This is Eclipse’s sixth birth.  The foal weighed 108 pounds and stood at three and a half feet tall at the shoulders at birth.  Guests can see the foal frolicking after his mother in the Zoo’s Plains of East Africa exhibit.  Naming rights will be auctioned off at the Zoo’s annual ExZOOberation evening fundraiser on April 16, 2011.



Photo credits: John Reed Photography

Unlike other types of Zebras, Grevy’s Zebras face a dire extinction crisis.  More than 15,000 of these animals roamed the savannas of Africa in the 1970s, but scientists estimate only 2,200 remain in the wild today.  The Zoo supports conservation efforts to save the Grevy’s zebra, including participation in a Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  This SSP allows the Zoo to work with other AZA-accredited organizations to help ensure the survivability of the Grevy’s Zebra for future generations.

“It’s great to have a healthy foal because of the important contribution it makes to the conservation of the species,” said Craig Miller, curator of mammals at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.  “We look forward to following the next breeding recommendation from the SSP for pairing Eclipse with Mosi, our resident stallion.”

The Grevy’s zebra is the largest of the three zebra species and originates from parts of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.  Although foals are born with brown stripes and fuzzy coats, they grow into their notorious black-and-white stripes by one year of age.  The stripe pattern is unique to each animal, much like fingerprints are unique to each human. They provide an important adaptation for the species that allows them to blend into their natural surroundings. 

Foals weigh 80 to 125 pounds at birth, but can grow to be over 900 pounds as adults.