The Toronto Zoo is pleased to announce that Tori, a six year old female Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi), gave birth to a filly on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm. This birth is important for Grevy’s zebra conservation as the species is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and, there are only approximately 2,000 left in the wild.
This is the second filly Tori has given birth to at the Toronto Zoo, the first being, Leia, in January of 2014 with Jake. This little filly began to walk ten minutes after she was born, which is an important milestone in her development. Both mom and filly are doing well and she is already starting to develop her own strong and confident personality, according to her Zoo Keepers.
Grevy’s zebras were first put on the IUCN list in 1986, after their population began to decline due to over hunting in the late 1970s. Today, Grevy’s zebras are primarily found in Kenya and Ethiopia and, over the past 30 years, their global population has declined by approximately 70%. The major threats facing Grevy’s zebras are loss of grazing habitat and reduced access to available water sources, competition for resources, hunting and disease.
“The birth of Tori’s filly is a great opportunity to spread the word on the plight of Grevy’s zebras in the wild,” says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo. “As one of the Zoo’s key mandates is to educate visitors on current conservation issues and help preserve biodiversity, this filly helps highlight the importance of zebra conservation and what is being done to preserve this magnificent species in Africa. The Toronto Zoo supports Grevy’s zebra conservation efforts in Ethiopia and Kenya through the Toronto Zoo Endangered Species Reserve Fund.”
The Toronto Zoo’s Endangered Species Reserve Fund supports Canadian species and other critical projects around the world, further emphasizing our ongoing commitment to fight extinction. Every animal at the Zoo is an ambassador for its counterpart in the wild, each animal strives to create a connection with the public to bring attention to the problems facing species in the wild. The Toronto Zoo believes it has a shared responsibility to care for wildlife on this planet, and the Zoo works hard to be a leader in efforts to save animals and habitats that need help.
The Toronto Zoo is also part of the Grevy’s zebra Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a series of long-term breeding and conservation plans that act as an insurance policy fighting against extinction to save endangered species. These plans focus on maintaining genetically healthy captive populations and conservation efforts in the wild. Now more than ever the work the Toronto Zoo does to save and protect species and their habitats is critical to the ongoing survival of many of the worlds’ most endangered species, including the Grevy’s zebra.
Please note mom and filly will be on exhibit periodically throughout the day and you may catch a glimpse of them on exhibit.
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CLICK HERE for more information on Grevy’s zebras.
Toronto Zoo Media Contacts:
Katie Gray, Supervisor of Public Relations and Events
Amanda Chambers, Public Relations and Events Associate