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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Grevy’s Zebra-People: Icon of Ethiopian Wildlife

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As an icon of Ethiopia, we Grevy’s zebra-people are also called the “Imperial Zebra.” We zebra-people belong to the genus Equus. We are close relatives of both the horse- and the donkey-people, and, along with the plains and the mountain zebra-people, we make up the world’s only three species of black and white striped zebra-people. We Grevy’s zebra-people are natives of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, and are the rarest species of the zebra kingdom.

Our extraordinary thick, black striped fur isn’t just so that we can tell each other apart. There are also many other benefits to having such an extraordinary coat. Recent research has found that the patterns of our stripes can confuse fly- and other insect-people, which helps to keep them away so they don’t bother us! They also help to regulate our body temperature by reflecting more than 70% of the incoming radiation from the bright African sun.

Like all zebra-people, we Grevy's zebra folk can run fast with our long, slim legs and our hoofed feet. In fact, we can run up to 65 kilometers per hour, and can even outrun a fully grown lion! We have very keen eyesight as our large, long head is endowed with binocular front vision which enables us to spot movement from a great distance. As a natural vegan, we feed mainly on grasses and sometimes on bark, fruit, and leaves.

It is disconcerting to see our Grevy’s zebra-people registered on the Red List of Threatened species, as our population has dwindled to less than 2,200 in the wild. A big concern for us is that much of our habitat has been lost due to deforestation, so that the land can instead be used for animal-people livestock raising. The increased presence of these horrific facilities has also affected our water resources. To make things worse, we are hunted for our meat, our skins, and for so-called medicinal purposes. We love our families just like humans love theirs. We hope humanity will respect and treat us as your good co-inhabitants of Earth and take the necessary action to protect and save us.
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