‘It’s a big deal for the species’: Edmonton Valley Zoo welcomes baby zebra

EDMONTON – The Edmonton Valley Zoo is celebrating the birth of a female zebra.

The newborn, which belongs to the Grevy’s species of zebra, doesn’t have a name yet. She was born on Tuesday  morning and weighed about 88 pounds.

“The baby looks really good right now — she’s running around, she’s acting like a normal little baby,” said Wade Krasnow, team leader of animal care at the Valley Zoo.

“She’s very frisky and she’s got really long legs.”

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Kransow said the birth has been a few years coming, as it took a while to introduce the parents, seven-year-old Zari and 17-year-old Shaka. Plus, the gestation period of a Grevy’s zebra is 390 days, the longest of any equid species.

“It’s a very big deal not just for us, it’s a big deal for the species as a whole because there’s only about 1,500 to 2,500 left in the world. And zoos around the world are working together to help save this species,” said Krasnow.

Krasnow said Zari is a first-time mother.

“She actually was very skittish before she got pregnant, and into her late pregnancy she calmed right down and she’s being an excellent, excellent mother. So we’re very, very happy with that.”

Grevy’s zebras are the most endangered of the three species of zebra. They are found primarily in Kenya and Ethiopia. The life expectancy of a Grevy’s zebra in captivity is 22 to 30 years, according to Krasnow.

The zoo may breed the pair again in a few years.

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