First endangered baby Grevy's zebra born in S'pore zoo, named Izara

A star is born.

Fiona Tan | October 26, 2021, 11:08 AM

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It's time for Singapore's beloved panda cub to share the spotlight with another black and white mammal at the Singapore Zoo — a baby Grevy's zebra.

Baby Izara chasing a bird. Video courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.

A star is born

In a media release on Oct. 26, Mandai Wildlife Group announced that a female baby Grevy's zebra was born at the Singapore Zoo on Sep. 30, 2021, just one and a half months after the birth of Singapore's favourite panda cub.

Born to six-year-old dad and mom, Desta and Kolle, the female foal has been named Izara, a name of African origin meaning star, marking the first ever birth of a Grevy's zebra on Singapore's shores.

Baby Izara and mommy Kolle. Image courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.

Izara and her mommy Kolle. Image courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.

As she matures, Izara will gradually grow into her skin and her reddish-brown stripes will darken into black stripes.

She will be gradually introduced to other members of the Grevy's herd, as well as other animal residents sharing the same habitat.

Image courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group.

Izara's birth makes her the fifth black-and-white striped member of the zebra family at Singapore Zoo, where there are two other female zebras, Jasiri and Moyo.

The herd of adults arrived in Singapore from Tanganyika Wildlife Park at the United States of America in June 2020.

Under the care of Mandai Wildlife Group, the Grevy's herd is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria ex-situ programme for the species, which aims to maintain a healthy and sustainable population under human care for both conservation and educational purposes.

Most endangered zebra species

Out of the three remaining zebra species in the world, Grevy's zebra, or Imperial zebras, are the largest and most endangered, and have been classified as "Endangered" under the International Union for Conversation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

Wild populations have fallen by 85 per cent in the last 30 years, due to a reduction of water sources, habitat loss, hunting, and disease.

According to Mandai Wildlife Group's Vice President of Animal Care, Luis Carlos Neves, there are fewer than 2,000 Grevy's zebras left in the wild, found in isolated pockets of Ethiopia and Northern Kenya, and a little over 400 of the species under the care of humans.

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Top image courtesy of Mandai Wildlife Group