Sunday 20 October 2019

One-month-old zebra foal makes grand entrance in naming ceremony

The Grevy’s zebra has been named Obi in keeping with a Star Wars theme for the species at Toronto Zoo.

Obi the zebra foal with his mum Tori (Toronto Zoo/PA)
Obi the zebra foal with his mum Tori (Toronto Zoo/PA)

By Alistair Mason, Press Association

A zebra foal made a dramatic entrance as the zoo unveiled the name chosen for him by the public.

The foal, who had been nicknamed Baby Stripes since his birth on February 13, was named Obi after the zoo polled the public via Facebook.

The name continues a Star Wars theme at the zoo, with previous baby zebras having taken the names Luke, Leia and Rey.

Obi beat another Star Wars-themed name, Chewy, in the poll, as well as JJ, short for Jake Junior, and TJ, initials that referenced his parents Tori and Jake.

As his name was revealed, Obi made the most of his moment in the spotlight, heightening the dramatic tension by initially remaining hidden behind his mum.

Eventually he made his entrance, gambolling around his enclosure to the delight of his adoring fans.

Obi is a Grevy’s zebra, a species listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

They are primarily found in Kenya and Ethiopia, but the global population is only around 2,800 having decreased by around 70% in the last 30 years.

Those wishing to get a good look at the zebra formerly known as Baby Stripes will have to be patient as he is not yet on display to the public.

PA Media

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