Grevy’s Zebra Foal Dies at Reid Park Zoo

Reid Park Zoo is mourning the loss of Grevy’s zebra foal Tikiti Maji. On Tuesday afternoon, a gust of wind appeared to startle Tikiti’s mother, Anna. Anna abruptly moved into a different portion of the habitat, stopping at the wood-paneled fence. The foal was running alongside Anna and did not stop. Veterinary staff responded immediately but the foal died instantly due to an injury to her neck.  

Zebras as a species can become easily startled and, sadly, this type of injury is not uncommon. Reid Park Zoo lost a male foal in July 2020 in a similar event.
In preparation for Tikiti’s birth, Reid Park Zoo made significant modifications to the zebra habitat to make the barriers of the space more visible to the foal. The care team also provided increased access for mother and foal to the larger main zebra habitat, and instituted a quiet zone surrounding the zebras’ behind-the-scene areas. As is normal practice following any accident such as this, further evaluation of the habitat including consultation with other experts will be conducted.

“In a very short time, Tikiti won everyone over with her playful nature and energetic spirit. The care team is taking the unexpected loss very hard. She will be dearly missed,” Adam Ramsey, Reid Park Zoo’s Director of Animal Care, said.

The Zoo’s animal care team will be giving extra care to Anna as she grieves the loss of Tikiti. At this time she is spending more time interacting with her keepers and will transition to spending days with her companions Ben and Zuri.

“My heart goes out to Anna, who was an attentive and watchful mother to Tikiti, as well as to the Zoo’s animal care professionals who give their all each day to ensure that every animal at Reid Park Zoo receives quality, loving, and uninterrupted care,” said Nancy Kluge, Reid Park Zoo President & CEO. “We are absolutely heartbroken by the loss.”

Grevy’s zebra are endangered with fewer than 2,000 of the species remaining in the wild. Reid Park Zoo participates in Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan, a partnership organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to promote genetic diversity in the zoo populations and to protect against depletion of the wild population and its habitat.