Great Grevy’s Zebra Rally
January 10, 2018 | Trish Sewe
Somewhere in Northern Kenya lies a gem. A stunningly beautiful but endangered zebra that many Kenyans have never heard about, let alone seen. This is the story of the Grevy’s zebra. A rare Kenyan heritage that needs to be protected before it goes extinct.
Grevy’s zebras are the largest of the three zebra species. The other two are plains zebra and mountain zebra. Grevy’s zebra are taller, have narrow stripes, white belly, round ears and brown muzzle, which easily distinguishes them from the common plains zebra that are usually smaller in size and have larger stripes and a black muzzle. Grevy’s zebras live in arid and semi-arid lands and can stay without water for up to five days. Plains zebras on the other hand need water on a daily basis and are geographically widespread, hence found in the many game reserves and parks.
Grevy’s zebras were named after François Paul Jules Grévy who was the President of France from 1807 to 1891 by Jean-Frédéric Émile Oustalet, a French zoologist.
Grevy’s zebras are currently found in Kenya and the Ethiopia. They originally inhabited 5 countries, namely; Djibouti, Eretria, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somali however, as their numbers plummeted as a result of land degradation, loss of habitat and poaching, they moved to the Northern part of Kenya and the Southern part of Ethiopia. They are considered an endangered species whose population has now reduced from 15,000 in the 70s to less than 2,500 in 2016. Kenya is home to over 90% of the total population of Grevy’s zebras and the more reason why we should pay a close attention to their survival.