Brevard Zoo Welcomes Birth of Its First Every Baby Grévy’s Zebra, Most Threatened Species of Zebra
By Space Coast Daily // June 4, 2022
Lauren and her foal will remain behind-the-scenes as they bond
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – We are thrilled to share that our first-ever baby zebra is here! Eight-year-old Grévy’s zebra Lauren gave birth in the early morning of June 1. Animal care staff conducted a neonatal exam later that afternoon and discovered that the baby is a male, weighs about 88 pounds and appears healthy.
“For a hand-reared, first-time mom, Lauren is doing a great job raising her foal,” said Lauren Hinson, the Zoo’s director of animal programs. “The baby is active, and we’ve seen him on camera running and bucking around in the stall.”
Back in January, we shared with you that we believed that both Lauren and 11-year-old Iggy were pregnant based on fetal movements and weight gain. Over the past several months, our animal care staff have been monitoring both zebras closely, watching for signs that their babies were coming soon. While we originally believed that Iggy would give birth before Lauren, we are still waiting on Iggy’s baby to arrive!
Lauren and her foal will remain behind the scenes as they bond. Grévy’s zebras in their natural range typically separate themselves from their herd after giving birth, and we are mimicking this as closely as possible by allowing Lauren to have isolated bonding time.
All Zoo births are important, but we are especially excited about this one as Grévy’s zebras are endangered due to habitat loss, human hunting and competition for resources with domestic hoofstock.
The foal’s sire, 9-year-old Bakari, arrived at the Zoo back in 2020 as a Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation. SSPs manage the populations of animals within AZA-accredited zoos to ensure healthy, genetically diverse groups – especially important for the endangered Grévy’s zebra.
We will continue to keep you posted on the baby’s progress and let you know when you can see Lauren and her foal in Expedition Africa. Until then, we hope you enjoy some photos of the baby from our animal care staff as well as the cameras in the zebra’s barn area, a gift from a recent Give From the Heart appeal.
Keep your eyes out for another zebra baby story in the near future as we await the arrival of Iggy’s foal.