TORONTO, ON, Tuesday, March 12, 2019: The public has spoken! With over 7,500 people voting in Toronto Zoo's "Baby Stripes Needs A Name!" Facebook promotion, one name has emerged as a favourite. Baby Stripes’ official name is "Obi", in keeping with the Star Wars-themed names as previous zebra babies were named Luke, Leia and Rey. The Zoo's Wildlife Care Keepers chose potential names for the foal and the Toronto Zoo asked the public to vote on Facebook between Tuesday, February 26 and Sunday, March 10, 2019 to help decide on the BEST name for the foal.
Tori, an eight-year-old female Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi), gave birth to a male foal in the early morning hours on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. This is the third foal Tori has given birth to at the Toronto Zoo, the first being, Leia, in January of 2014 and the second being, Rey, in July of 2016. All three foals have been sired by Jake, an 11-year-old male. Both mom and foal are doing well.
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 the current global population is only 2,800. 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.
Please note mom and foal will be NOT be visible to public until Spring 2019.