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Chicago Image of the Day - Kito, the new kid on the block

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It's a colt!

Lincoln Park Zoo's Grevy Zebras, 5-year-old mom, Adia, and 6-year-old dad, Clayton, are the proud parents of a spanking new baby boy, Kito, named after the Swahili word for jewel. Kito just celebrated his 1 month birthday three days ago.

This is the second baby for Adia and Clayton, the first being elder brother, Enzi, born two years ago. Grevy zebras are endangered in their native East Africa because of habitat loss and hunting. The birth of the jewel is therefore a welcome event in the zoo community, a success story for the Grevy's Zebra Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Pregnancy in Grevy Zebra takes more than a year. The baby is born already well developed and is able to stand, walk and, remarkably, even take short runs shortly after birth. This enables it to keep up with its mother walking about in the wild. Baby Grevies are born with a brownish coloration but will soon show the familiar black and white stripes when it reaches adulthood. (It's not my camera, folks!)

Lincoln Park Zoo held a week-long zebra baby naming poll in their website with four choices, all in Swahili: Hanisi – “born on Thursday,” Akili – “clever,.” Daktari – “doctor, healer," and the eventual winner, Kito. Swahili is the language in much of East Africa.

For more information, please visit the Lincoln Park Zoo website. Or better still, visit the zoo itself - how long has it been since you've visited? It's right there, in Lincoln Park, just north of downtown, amidst a beautiful setting and Kito is up and about. And it will cost you nothing, zilch, nada, for you to see him!

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