The Oklahoma City Zoo is celebrating an early holiday delivery. A male Grevy’s zebra foal was born Sunday morning, November 29, to mom Sassandra (Sassy), 22, and dad Ziggy, 6.
This foal is Sassy’s first birth at the Zoo since she arrived from the Living Desert Museum in 2012, the first offspring for Ziggy, and the Zoo’s seventeenth Grevy’s zebra birth, Zoo officials said. Like many Grevy’s zebra foals, the newborn began standing soon after birth. Both mother and the yet-to-be-named foal, weighing 66 pounds, appear to be healthy.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome this new foal to the Zoo.” said Laura Bottaro, animal curator. “This birth is also a significant addition to the species worldwide.”
The Grevy’s zebra is the largest in size of five species of zebra and the most endangered in the wild. The Oklahoma City Zoo was one of the founding zoos of The Grevy’s Zebra Trust, established in Kenya in 2007 as an independent wildlife conservation Trust to address the urgent need to conserve the Grevy's zebra in the community rangelands of Kenya and Ethiopia. Toward the end of the 1970s, the global population of Grevy's zebra was estimated to be 15,000. In 2008, an updated survey estimated that the number had declined to just 2,800—an 80 percent decline in population over four decades.
The Zoo also participates in the Zebra Species Survival Plan (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP allows the Zoo to work with AZA-accredited organizations to help ensure the survivability of the Grevy’s zebra for future generations. Their median life expectancy is approximately 30 years. The Zoo also has two Grant’s, or common, zebras in its animal collection.
Zoo guests may view the new foal and his mother at the Grevy’s zebra habitat on Wild Dog Row, weather permitting of 40 degrees or above in dry conditions.