On March 17, the Lowry Park Zoo of Tampa, Fla. welcomed a new member to its equine herd. The Grevy’s zebra is the first born at the Lowry Park Zoo and the first ever for the mother, a mare named Pixie.
Grevy’s zebra are endangered in the wild. They have been hunted for their skins, which are sold around the world, and for food, though they now are legally protected by hunting bans. Competition for land with humans and livestock has also had a negative impact on the population. Currently, their habitat is primarily in the arid plains of northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. According to the Grevy’s Zebra Trust, the wild population of Grevy’s Zebra is estimated to be less than 2,500.
Captive breeding of wild animals is often difficult, but several Grevy’s Zebra have been born in zoos in recent years. Zoo breeding programs have proven successful in the past for another equine species, the Przewalksi’s Horse. This species had been extinct in the wild but was reintroduced to its native Mongolia after selective breeing in captivity.
Watch a video of the zebra foal’s first steps on the Lowry Park Zoo’s facebook page >>