A healthy Grevy's zebra at Marwell Zoo

Marwell Wildlife appeals for help saving Grevy’s zebra

Marwell Wildlife, which owns and operates Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, is making an appeal to help save Grevy’s zebra in the wild.

The conservation charity has been working to support the endangered Grevy’s zebra in Kenya for over 20 years. This year, Kenya is once again experiencing a drought and the Grevy’s populations in the remote north are at risk and urgently need supplementary hay.

Marwell’s Conservation Biologist, Tanya Langenhorst, explains:

The rains have failed repeatedly, forage has disappeared in many areas and rivers are drying up. This means very long trips between grazing and water sources for this endangered species. Lactating females and foals are particularly at risk and affected by the prolonged drought as the mothers need to drink daily to provide milk, but the foals are not strong enough for the extra-long walks and can die of either starvation or from the strenuous trips.

With this in mind, we could lose a whole year of breeding. Given that there are fewer than three thousand Grevy’s zebra left, this would be a huge blow. The population is already very low, and every individual counts.

Marwell Wildlife works closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service and after a thorough assessment of the forage and water situation, permission has been granted to provide much needed supplementary feeding in several locations in South Horr in Northern Kenya. This should prevent the animals from losing body condition which can lead to an increased susceptibility to disease or even death.

Working with the Grevy’s Zebra Trust, Marwell Wildlife is buying 500 bales of hay and transferring them on lorries across rough terrain to the remote areas that desperately need it. Other costs include paying for local scouts to store, distribute and regularly monitor the hay and its intake by Grevy’s zebra and other wildlife. The total cost for this three-month project is 7000 pounds.

Tanya continues:

Every pound helps! Ten pounds can buy five bales of hay, which is enough to feed up to ten Grevy’s zebra for four days.

To donate, please visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/grevyszebra

Did you know?

Grevy’s zebra are distinguishable from the other two species (Hartmann’s zebra and Plains zebra) by…

1 – their ears. They have large rounded ears, unlike the other sub-species

2 – their bellies are white

3 – they are the biggest of the three sub species and have very narrow/thin stripes

Grevy’s zebra are more endangered than black rhino with less than 3,000 in the wild.

Photo: A healthy Grevy’s zebra at Marwell Zoo – Photo Credit, Marwell Zoo

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