Grevy’s Zebra


Scientific Name: Equus grevyi

The zebra is an icon of the plains of Africa.  The Grevy’s zebra is the largest and perhaps least well known of the three zebra species.  They can be identified by their size (up to 430 kg), long ears and narrow “pin stripes”.  Living in small herds in the semi-arid environments of northern Kenya and Ethiopia the Grevy’s zebra grazes on grasses and may even browse from trees and shrubs when grass is not available or during droughts. The wild population of Grevy’s zebra is endangered by over hunting and habitat loss due to competition with livestock and is thought to number at 2200 animals in Kenya.  Access to fresh water resources is an area of conflict between pastoral herders and wildlife populations, and a limiting factor for populations of Grevy’s zebra.   Anthrax disease outbreaks in northern Kenya have also decimated the few remaining Grevy’s zebra in recent years.

One of the first animal programs established at White Oak the Grevy’s zebras have thrived at our facility in Florida, with over 70 foals born here.  We work closely with the AZA Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan and collaborate with other zoos for the captive program for the species.  White Oak has collaborated in research projects to investigate the reproductive physiology of the Grevy’s zebra and specifically to collect and freeze semen.  We are in process to initiate an artificial insemination program for this zebra species with our partners in the Conservation Centers for Species Survival.