Singapore Zoo welcomes a Star to zebra herd

Singapore Zoo’s latest addition is an endangered Grevy’s zebra foal born on 30 September. Seen here mirroring mom Kolle’s stance, as the pair enjoys some quiet time in their exhibit. The foal will be gradually introduced to other members of the herd and other animal residents sharing the same habitat. Photo Credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

Singapore Zoo welcomed a new black and white bundle of joy on 30 September 2021 – an endangered Grevy’s zebra foal. The birth comes one and a half months after the arrival of another prominent black and white cub at sister park River Wonders.

This is the first birth of a Grevy’s zebra in Singapore Zoo and the female foal has been named Izara, a girl’s name of African origin meaning star.

Grevy’s zebra foals are born with reddish brown stripes which will gradually turn black as they mature. Izara pauses to nurse and seek comfort from mom Kolle. Photo credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

Aside from dad Desta and mom Kolle, both six years old, the Zoo is also home to two other females Jasiri and Moyo. The adult herd arrived in Singapore in June 2020 from USA’s Tanganyika Wildlife Park.

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

“Every birth is a celebration and this healthy and active foal will play a part in contributing to the population under human care. With fewer than 2,000 left in the wild and just over 400 under human care, this new addition marks a monumental step in the protection of the endangered Grevy’s species,” said Dr Luis Carlos Neves, Vice-President, Animal Care, Mandai Wildlife Group.

The Grevy’s zebra is known to have the largest ears among the three zebra species. While Izara explores her new space, mom Kolle continues to keep a watchful eye and ear on her little leggy foal. Photo credit: Mandai Wildlife Group

Grevy’s zebras are the largest and most endangered of the world’s three remaining zebra species (the other two being the plains and mountain) and they are found in isolated pockets of Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.

Wild populations have fallen by 85 per cent in the last 30 years with their decline attributed to a reduction of water sources, habitat loss, hunting and disease. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the Grevy’s zebra as endangered.

Singapore Zoo’s zebra exhibit has been adopted by Motor Image Enterprises, the exclusive distributor of Subaru.
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