One month old Grevy’s zebra foal’s first outing

The Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) foal born in mid-January has taken his first steps outdoors. The low temperatures of the last few weeks forced him to remain inside the building but with a much milder weather, he now goes outside with his mother even if the access to the building remains open.

Females Grevy’s zebra give birth to one foal after a gestation period of about 13 months. Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, the species is threatened by habitat degradation and loss due to overgrazing of domestic livestock with which it is also competing for access to water. Hunting for meat as well as medicinal and cultural purpose reaches high levels in some areas. Disease from contact with unvaccinated livestock and hybridization with plains Zebras (Equus burchelli) are also serious threats.

The total number of wild Grevy’s zebras is estimated at just over 2,600 animals including less than 2,000 mature individuals, distributed in only 2 African countries: Ethiopia and Kenya. The density of the population varies according to seasons, with the animals moving in search of their food. They tend to concentrate more during the dry season, when water dependence is stronger. They mainly feed on grass but browse can comprise up to 30% of their diet during times of drought or in arears highly modified by overgrazing.