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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 


Rachel Davis
Director of Communications
404.624.2812 – office

Gavin Johnson
Public Relations and Communications Specialist
404.624.5980 – office

About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, bontebok, warthogs, meerkats and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the newly restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit

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