Denver: Elliot the zebra takes a bow | VailDaily.com
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Denver: Elliot the zebra takes a bow

Bill ScanlonRocky Mountain NewsVail, CO Colorado
AP Photo/Denver Zoo, Dave ParsonsElliot, right, an endangered Grevy's zebra, with his mother Topaz at the zoo in Denver. There are three different species of zebra; plains or common zebra, mountain zebra and Grevy's zebra.
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DENVER Elliot the Grevy’s zebra took a stand for his endangered species last Friday, getting up on all four of his wobbly feet just an hour after he was born at the Denver Zoo.Zoo officials are celebrating the birth, not just because of Elliot’s cuteness but because it is a triumph for the species survival plan.There are fewer than 2,000 Grevy’s zebras in the wild they’re only found in northern Kenya and southeastern Ethiopia and their habitat is shrinking.Grevy’s zebras differ from other zebras by their longer legs, narrower stripes, white stripeless underbellies and large rounded ears, Denver Zoo spokeswoman Ana Bowie said.Visitors can see Elliot in the south zebra yard.His mother is Topaz, a first-time mom, and his father is Punda.Topaz has all the makings of an excellent mother, keeping a watchful eye on the young colt, who is very shy and likes to stay at his mother’s side, said Bowie.Elliot is the result of a breeding recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which aims to ensure genetic diversity of endangered species.Denver Zoo helped save Grevy’s zebras in the wild by providing vaccine during an anthrax epidemic. It also supports research that looks at the interaction between the zebra and African lions, Bowie said.And it provides scholarships to budding conservation leaders in Kenya.Elliot is now 6 days old and weighs about 85 pounds.When he is full-grown he could weight 1,000 pounds and stand more than 5 feet at the shoulder.He is the 15th zebra to be born at the zoo.Zebra mothers are pregnant for 13 months, and born with brown stripes instead of black. The brown color helps them to blend in with the background and draw less attention from predators.Akin to the uniqueness of human fingerprints, no two zebras have the exact same stripe patterns, zoologists say.Watch for pictures of Elliot later today at RockyMountainNews.com.Subscribe to the Rocky Mountain NewsComments * July 3, 2008 9:34 a.m. Suggest removal temurlan writes: How about a picture?Post your commentRegistration is required. 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