The Grévy’s Zebra is one of the three distinct types of zebras that are found in the world today. Frequently referred to as imperial zebra, the Grévy’s Zebra is also the largest species of equid living in the wild. This type of zebra got its name from Jules Grévy who was the President of France between 1879 and 1887. Found primarily in the semi-arid grasslands of Kenya with some sporadic populations in some regions of Ethiopia, the Grévy’s Zebra is the only surviving member of Dolichohippus subgenus.
Have a look at some important information on the Grévy’s Zebra.
Species: E. grevyi
These zebras typically reach a height of 8 feet to 9 feet on maturity. The tails are about 55 to 70cm long and usually stand about 1.40m-1.60 m high at withers. In many ways, the primitive characteristics of the Grévy’s Zebra differentiate it from the other zebra species.
These creatures have long and large heads with sharply elongated nostrils openings. Ears are conical and large in their shapes. The black-and-white striping pattern of their bodies is very interesting. The area around the belly is simply white in color. Stripes are closely set and narrow which enables them to hide from their predators. Muzzle is somewhere around black or ash-grey and there is a hint of whiskers around the lips. The mane of the Grévy’s Zebra is typically erect and tall.
These zebras spend most of their time in Kenya’s semi-arid grasslands where they can easily find water. Predominantly grazers, the Grévy’s Zebras can even survive by eating grass of poor quality. They can also survive for about 5 days without drinking water. Female zebras carrying young fouls must drink water at least once in every other day.
Most of the populations of Grévy’s zebras are found in Kenya with some residing in Ethiopia. Over the years, this species has significantly undergone a reduction in their range. At one point of time, these zebras could have been easily spotted in various parts like Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti. These zebras are often found on open plains interacting and mingling with other creatures like ostriches and antelopes.
The Grévy’s Zebras typically consume grasses as their main fodder. They also enjoy nibbling on fruits, barks and leaves. About 60% of the entire day is spent by these zebras in eating. The summer months can be characterized by a lack of food. In those times, the Grévy’s Zebras consume a lot of grass. Since these zebras can eat the top portions of the grasses that may be difficult for some of the other herbivores to digest, they can help other wild grazers to have access to their food. In zoos, the Grévy’s Zebras are offered leaf eater biscuits in their training period.
Have a look at common behavioural traits of the Grévy’s Zebras;
Grévy’s zebras are capable of mating and giving birth all round the year. Most of the mating occurs during the rainy season. The babies are born typically in August and/or September. Sexual maturity is attained after a period of about 2 to 3 years. The stallions become mature after 6 years. The female zebras produce a single foal after a gestation period of 390 days. The mother gives birth on a heavy brush. Young ones are then weaned at the age of 9 months.
Grévy’s Zebras can live up to a period of 25 years in the wild. In human care, these zebras can survive up to around 30 years.
Grévy’s Zebra are hunted by leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, and African wild dogs. Lions are the main predators of Grévy’s Zebra. These zebras are also vulnerable to numerous gastro-intestinal parasites.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about this mammal;
IUCN has declared the Grévy’s Zebra as endangered. Loss of habitat has led to reduction of their populations. Hunting is the main reason for their gradual decline in numbers in Ethiopia. Apart from their skin, they are also hunted for food.
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