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Another birth at the Detroit Zoo, a Grevy zebra named Enzi


As the warm weather draws crowds to the Detroit Zoo, visitors will get a chance to see the newest zebra edition.

IMG_4779 Named Enzi, which means “reign” or era” in Swahili, the new male Grevy zebra came into the world at 2:45 am on January 1. His birth brings the zoo’s Grevy’s zebra herd to five.

The Grevy zebra is the largest equid. What’s an equid you ask? They are various hoofed mammals of the family Equidae, which includes horses, donkeys, and zebras. Equids have muscular bodies with long, slender legs adapted for running and a single hoofed digit at the end of each limb.

Enzi is the second foal of 23-year-old Elvira and her 14-year-old mate Z.Z.  The rest of Enzi’s family are, his brother, three-year-old Jimmy, and sister, one-year-old Zoe. Like all newborn Grevy’s zebra foals, Enzi was able to stand after just six minutes, and could run after 40 minutes. He is dependent on his mother for milk until he is 6 to 8 months old.

To get an idea of how a Grevy mom and baby interact, check out this video from YouTube.

Grevy’s zebra is listed as endangered on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals.

Kept away from the winter’s biting cold, Enzi spent his first few months of life indoors.  He will be out and about for onlookers now though, whenever it is 50 degrees or warmer outside.

“Enzi is doing very well and is full of energy,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer. “Typical of zebra foals his age, he’s never far from his mom.  Elvira is an experienced mother and is doing a great job raising her little one.”

Grevy’s, also known as Equus grevyi, can weigh 800 to 1,000 pounds once they reach adulthood. They grow up to nine feet long and stand up to five and a half feet at the shoulder. This makes them the largest of the three types of zebras.

IMG_4776Like all zebras they start out with brown stripes that darken to black as they mature.  The stripes of zebras are distinct and unique to each, almost like fingerprints are to us human animals.

This particular type of zebra is named after Jules Grevy, former president of the French Republic, who received one as a gift.

Originally, the Grevy’s zebra lived in the semiarid scrublands and plains of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Kenya in East Africa. However, due to rapid declines in their population, they are now confined to the Horn of Africa, primarily southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Over the last two decade their population has decreased by 50 percent, according to African Wildlife Foundation. Toda, there are only about 2,000 remaining.

Enzi adds one more to that number. The Detroit Zoo is committed to helping make sure endangered species continue to live on our earth.

For all to see, it’s showing off its new zebra member. Come on in and take a look.

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