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Two Grevy's Zebras Born At San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A week-old Grevy’s zebra foal showed off a full set of teeth while keeping close to his mother, Mekeda, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, March 6, 2015.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
A week-old Grevy’s zebra foal showed off a full set of teeth while keeping close to his mother, Mekeda, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, March 6, 2015.

Two Grevy's zebra foals have been born over the past eight days at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, zoo officials reported Friday.

One was born Thursday and the other Feb. 26. Both are males.

Animal keepers said both already are running throughout their grassy habitat and staying close to the herd.

"Once they hit the ground, within a short period of time they are ready to run," said Jeff Gross, senior keeper at the park. "Their main form of staying alive — in the wild — is actually being able to keep up with the herd, so the importance of being able to move about, move quickly, and stay close to mother, who is very protective, is very important."

A zebra foal can tell his mother apart from other zebras in the herd and knows to stay close to her by memorizing her unique stripe pattern, according to the zoo. The memorization happens just after a zebra is born and is called imprinting.

Grevy's zebras have the skinniest stripes of any zebra species. The stripes run all the way down their back to a white belly. The type of zebra is considered endangered, with its population ravaged by anthrax outbreaks. Only around 2,250 are estimated to remain in the wild.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park said it has had 86 Grevy's zebra births.

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