The Grevy’s Zebra, also popular as imperial zebra is the largest and most threatened of three zebra species. Named after Jules Grevy(a president of the French Third Republic), Grevy’s zebra is the sole existing member of the subgenus Dolichohippus. Native to Kenya and Ethiopia, this largest living wild equine lives in semi-arid grasslands.
Species: E. grevyi
The largest of all wild equines, Grevy’s zebra has a height of 8-9ft. Their tails stretch to a length of 55-70cm and stand 1.40-1.60 m high at the withers.
Grevy’s zebra differs from other zebra species because of their primitive characteristics. Their head is large and long with elongated nostrils openings. The ears are large and conical in shape. The most interesting feature of their body is the black and white striping pattern. Their mane is tall and erect. This species of zebra’s muzzle is aish-grey to black in color with lips having whiskers. The belly area and the area nearby the base of the tail lack stripes. This makes them look different and unique than the other zebra species.
Grevy’s zebras are seen in semi-arid grasslands where they’ve easy access to water. They are known for being predominant grazers and can survive poor quality grass. These zebras can survive without water for up to five days. Female zebras with young fouls have to drink at least every other day.
Grevy’s zebras largely inhabit in Ethiopia and Kenya. The species has undergone reduction of range. Earlier, they were mostly found across the horn of Africa including Somalia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. Now, their population in South Sudan is uncertain. They are often seen mingling on the open plains along with other grazing animals like wildebeest, antelopes, and ostriches.
These zebras feed on grasses. They also consume fruits, leaves, and bark. Grevy’s zebras are known for spending 60 per cent of the day eating. During the dry season when there is a scarcity of food, they are found eating grasses. This species of zebra is beneficial to wild grazers because of they clear off the tops of grasses that are difficult for other herbivores to digest. During their training period in the zoo, these species are provided with leaf eater biscuits.
Check with some of their amazing behavioural traits;
Female zebras wonder from one territory to another and choose the one with the highest quality food and water sources.
Grevy’s zebras can mate and give birth year round. Their mating takes place during rainy season and babies are born in August or September. These zebras become sexually matured after two to three years of their birth. Stallions become mature after six years. Female zebras give birth to a single foal after 390 days of the gestation period. The mother chooses a heavy brush to give birth. Young ones are weaned at nine months.
In the wild, gravy zebras live up to 25 years. In human care, they can survive up to 30 years.
Predators of Grevy’s zebras include leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, and African wild dogs. Their main predator is the lion. Besides, these species are susceptible to several gastro-intestinal parasites.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about this mammal;
IUCN declared this zebra species as endangered. Their population is decreasing because of loss of habitat. In Ethiopia, hunting is considered as a primary reason for their decline in numbers. Apart from their skin, they are also hunted for food.
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