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Baby zebra makes public debut at Caldwell Zoo

Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 3:55 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The newest zebra at the Caldwell Zoo made her public debut Tuesday, and zoo officials said she is doing well and behaving just as she should.

“She followed mom great. She was a Velcro baby,” said Michelle Shockley, the mammal supervisor at Caldwell Zoo. “She stayed right close to mom and that’s also grandma out there. She’s going between the two where she’ll feel safe. She’s kind of wondering around, she’s sniffing the grass, she’s looking at the other animals. But she does stick close enough where she can get back to a safe place if she feels the need to.”

Zebras have a 13-month gestation period, and Amali was born on July 29. Her name means hope in Swahili, an East African language. The name is fitting because Amali is a Grevy’s Zebra , which is the most endangered of the three zebra species, according to zookeepers. There were an estimated 5,800 Grevy’s zebras in the wild in the 1980s. Today, there are about 2,800, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

Caldwell Zoo follows the Species Survival Plan that includes recommendations for which animals are bred within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Amali’s birth was a product of the SSP. The breeding program means Amali might not stay at the Caldwell Zoo forever.

“We do not know if we’ll be able to keep this baby here with us or if eventually she will be off to another institution to where she can increase our population further” Shockley said.

Click here to find out more about the other animals at the zoo and when you can visit.

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