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ZOO ATLANTA WELCOMES IMARA THE PLAINS ZEBRA

Female zebra will join male Wembe and other species on the Zoo’s African Savanna 

ATLANTA – January 2, 2024 In happy news for the New Year, Zoo Atlanta is excited to welcome Imara, a 2-year-old female plains zebra. Imara arrived in Atlanta on December 27, 2023, from another Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited organization.  

Named by the Zoo’s Zebra Care Team with a moniker meaning “solid” and “strong” in Swahili, Imara will complete a routine quarantine period behind the scenes for about a month before being introduced to her new home in the Zoo’s African Savanna.  

Imara’s move to Zoo Atlanta was recommended by the AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a collaborative program that works to ensure the genetic diversity and long-term sustainability of animal populations in professional human care in AZA organizations while also making recommendations for individual animals. In this capacity, as zebras are social animals, Imara will soon meet male Wembe, who arrived at Zoo Atlanta in September 2023.  

After meeting Wembe, Imara will meet other species frequently found in communal environments in the wild. Zoo Atlanta’s mixed-species African Savanna habitat is also home to male reticulated giraffes Calvin and Lennard and female ostriches Purple and Orange. The process of introducing individual animals is a gradual one undertaken with time, care, and close observation.   

“Zoo Atlanta is very happy to welcome Imara, particularly as a social companion for Wembe, who joined us in September,” said Sam Rivera, DVM, Vice President of Animal Health. “Zebras are icons among African wildlife, with an important story to tell of the interconnectedness of all life on the savanna – and the important ways humans are part of that story.”  

While zebras were once nearly ubiquitous in the wild in the southern and eastern regions of sub-Saharan Africa, many populations are now in decline. The plains zebra is classified as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Although they are hunted for skins and meat, a primary threat to zebras is habitat alteration due to farming. The increasing prevalence of agriculture in their native range results in competition with domestic livestock for grass resources, and farm fences interrupt zebras’ traditional migration patterns. The Zoo’s African Savanna complex underscores the interrelationships central to all life in this legendary landscape and emphasizes the everyday actions guests can take to have a positive impact on animal populations and their ecosystems.  

Stay tuned for updates on Imara as she prepares to acclimate to her new home, and plan a visit at zooatlanta.org 

 

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