If a dictionary goes from A to Z, what goes from Z to A?
Zebras are amazing animals that come from Africa and are related to horses and donkeys.
The Louisville Zoo houses Hartmann’s mountain zebras in our Africa area. Mountain zebras are great climbers with hard and pointed hooves.
We interviewed Zookeeper Drew Koch to get the 411 on our zebras at the Louisville Zoo. Drew cares for the Louisville Zoo’s ﬁve zebras: one male named Gibbs and four females — Kindra, Morena, Enid and our newest addition, Annette.
We asked Drew what he likes most about the zebras. “The thing I appreciate most about the zebras is their toughness. They are very resilient!” Kindra, our oldest zebra, is especially tough as far as zebras go. Zebras in general can be easily frightened because in nature they are prey animals and must always be on guard against predators. Kindra, however, is personable and calm. She will even stand on a scale to be weighed!
How does Drew tell one zebra from another? They have individual stripe patterns, just like people have individual ﬁngerprints! Zookeeper Drew can easily distinguish the stripes characteristic of each zebra because he works with them every day. For example, the next time you visit the zebra exhibit, look for the zebra with bright white stripes — Drew says that is Morena. You may also notice Annette, she’s still the smallest zebra in our group so far. Annette was just born in May of 2015. “We are very proud of this birth because the Hartmann’s mountain zebra population in nature is declining. Part of the Louisville Zoo’s mission is to help species that are in trouble through special breeding programs. Helping endangered species is just one way we create a healthier planet,” said Drew.
Small steps can make a big difference for conservation. For example, the Zebra exhibit has a newly installed system to provide constant fresh water for the zebras to drink without any wasted water. Even zebra poop doesn’t go to waste — it is composted along with other herbivore (plant eaters) poop to become ZooPoopyDoo,”a helpful manure for your garden that can be purchased during the Zoo’s spring sale of mulch and compost.
So next time you’re at the Zoo, be sure to visit our zebras and the other updated African exhibits!
Did you know? In 1984, the Louisville Zoo had a zebra born from a horse! In May 17, 1984 quarter horse, Kelley, gave birth to Zebra E.Q., through an embryo transfer. The birth was the ﬁrst successful embryo transfer from an exotic to domestic equine. This zebra birth was an important step toward preserving endangered species.
Green tip: Just like our Zoo keepers, you can make a difference by saving water in your homes! Try taking a shorter shower or turning off the water while brushing your teeth. And with your parents’ help, you can compost too! Recycle leaves, fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells and grass clippings at home by setting up a compost bin.