Conservation center celebrates birth of four endangered zebra foals

Fewer than 2,000 Grevy’s zebras remain in the wild, making them the world’s most endangered zebra, but in good news for the species, the White Oak Conservation center has celebrated not one but four new births this summer. 

The three males and one female were born in June and July, adding up to 96 total Grevy’s zebra births at the center since the first arrived there in 1977. Populations in the late 1970s and early 1980s totaled around 15,600 animals, but today, the zebras are defined as endangered.

The zebras at White Oak Conservation make up an assurance population, a group of genetically diverse animals kept in captivity to ensure that a sustainable population would survive in case the species become extinct in the wild. The center is also home to 18 other types of endangered species including rhinos and cheetahs. 

In the center, the foals will live with their mothers until next year’s zebras are born. The animals form social groups at the refuge just as they would in the wild.

The Grevy’s zebra is the largest zebra species in the world and once lived in arid shrublands and grasslands throughout Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Sudan. Today, they live only in parts of Ethiopia and Kenya. The decrease in population is largely due to habitat loss, disease, and predation, but efforts by the Northern Rangelands Trust and Grevy’s Zebra Trust conservation organizations as well as smaller conservation centers have helped to somewhat stabilize populations.

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