Terri, a baby zebra born earlier this year in the Bronx Zoo, made her public debut this week, strutting her pale brownish stripes in the Wildlife Conservation Society’s African Plains exhibit. Terri belongs to the largest species of Zebra, Grevy’s Zebra, also known as the Imperial Zebra, which lives on the semi-arid grasslands of Northern Kenya Ethiopia. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Grevy’s Zebra is listed as endangered because as of 2008 it “is estimated to have declined by more than 50% over the past 18 years based on direct observation and potential/actual levels of exploitation. In addition, the current total population is estimated at 750 mature individuals, with the largest subpopulation estimated at 255 mature individuals.”
When considering the dire situation of Grevy’s Zebra, it becomes clear that zoos play an important part in ensuring the survivability of our planet’s precious organisms. As we strive to reach a more sustainable ecosystem, we can draw inspiration from the thought of Terri living a longer and happier life with her parents Tara and Jimbo nearby.