Archive: New Year Ushers in New ‘Era’ at Detroit Zoo

Mild weather gives visitors first look at zebra foal

April 2, 2015


Shortly after the ball dropped at midnight on January 1, 2015, the Detroit Zoo had something special to celebrate – an endangered male Grevy’s zebra born at 2:45 a.m. at the zebra habitat.  

The foal – named Enzi, a Swahili word meaning “era” or “reign” – has been kept indoors during the frigid months since his birth, but will be seen outdoors on days when the thermometer reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.  

This is the second foal for 23-year-old mom Elvira and 14-year-old father Z.Z.  The new arrival brings the Detroit Zoo’s zebra herd to five, including the pair’s 3-year-old male offspring Jimmy and 12-year-old female Zoe.

“Enzi is doing very well and is full of energy,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer.  “Typical of zebra foals his age, he’s never far from his mom.  Elvira is an experienced mother and is doing a great job raising her little one.”

The Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) is the largest of the three zebra species, with adults weighing between 800 and 1,000 pounds.  Zebras are born with brown stripes that turn black as they mature.  The striped pattern on each zebra is as unique as a fingerprint; no two are the same.  The species is named after Jules Grevy, former president of the French Republic, who received the animal as a gift.