Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating the safe birth of a healthy, yet-to-be-named Grevy’s zebra foal.
The newcomer arrived Aug. 14 and, true to her species, was up and running within hours.
“It’s hard not to smile when seeing this energetic foal,” said curator Dan Boehm. “Not only is the zebra foal a joy to visit, but its birth is significant for this endangered species.”
Though they once roamed a vast area of African grassland, Grevy’s, known for their narrow and close-set stripes, have all but disappeared from Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Due to hunting and loss of habitat, the Grevy’s numbers have dropped by more than 50% in the past 30 years, with their range now limited to southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Juveniles like Lincoln Park Zoo’s youngster have a particularly low survival rate.
Grevy’s are not only the largest of the three zebra species but they’re the largest of the world’s wild equines. (At 390 days, female Grevy’s also have the longest gestation period of any equid.) Adult Grevy’s can reach a galloping speed of 40 miles per hour, critical for this prey species.
Fun fact: Grevy’s are grazers, feeding mainly on grasses. To consume enough energy to power bursts of activity, they spend 60%-80% of their time eating.
Lincoln Park Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is still free, but reservations are required due to capacity guidelines.