LA Zoo

LA Zoo Welcomes a Second Zebra Foal to the Herd

The unnamed new zebra has been behind the scenes since birth bonding with his mother.

What to Know

  • A male foal was born April 24 at the LA Zoo
  • The unnamed foal was born 22 days after his sister
  • The LA Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The first Grévy's zebra foal at the LA Zoo was born in 1988. Now, another has been welcomed to the herd -- the second born this year.

A male foal was born April 24, 22 days after the birth of his sister. He has been behind the scenes since birth, bonding with his mother until he was ready to start exploring the habitat.

Since the 1980s, the LA Zoo has participated in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) program for Grévy's zebra, which helps preserve and grow the population of endangered species.

The foal was born to seven-year-old Khalfani and five-year-old Duni. The parents are part of a herd of zebras that came to the zoo in 2016 through SSP to help increase awareness of Grévy's zebra and the issues they are facing in the wild.

The bonding process for mother and foal begins 20 minutes after birth when the foal can walk on its own. After, the mother stays close to her offspring, walking around her newborn so it will memorize the black and white striped pattern on her body. This maternal instinct allows imprinting, which allows the foal to recognize his parent and establish trust.

The new zebra has yet to be named.

Grévy's zebras live in semi-arid and open scrub grasslands in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Males are 5 feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh as much as 990 pounds, making them the largest species of zebra.

Females are around 10 percent smaller in size. This species of zebra has a larger head than the others, with a thick, erect mane and short, tufted hair at the tip of the tail. They have the skinniest stripes of any zebra, which run all the way down to their rear end and a white belly; other zebra species have stripes on their belly. The Grévy's zebra's life span in the wild is about 18 years.

The public can now see the foals and their mothers on exhibit, weather permitting.

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