Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes New Zebra Foal
The Disney Parks may be closed but the animals are still living their best lives! Disney’s Animal Kingdom has just welcomed a brand new baby zebra foal to the family. Even though there are no guests at the resort, Disney’s Animal Care team is still providing top-notch care to the thousands of animals in its charge.
Saturday morning (March 21st), first time mother Heidi, a Hartmann’s Zebra, gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. She doesn’t have a name yet, but she is 65 pounds. Apparently, she is very strong, as she was already standing 30 minutes after being born.
Her personality is already shining through and is very curious and active. Just like her mother, she is showing off some very long legs. Her arrival marks the third zebra birth at Walt Disney World this year.
Check out this video captured by one of Disney’s animal keepers to see a few moments of sweet mother-daughter time.
Heidi is proving to be a natural at being a mommy. She stays close to her baby to bond with her and nurse. This is critical as young zebras will imprint on its mother’s scent and memorize the unique markings on its mother’s hind legs to tell her apart from the rest of the herd. In a few weeks, after the pair develop a strong bond, they will be introduced to the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah.
The Zebra Foal was born as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) oversees this program and makes sure its participants practice responsible breeding and genetic diversity of thousands of species of animals.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are found in sub-Saharan Africa and are a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and hunting. To learn more about zebras and other species we are working to protect, visit DisneyAnimals.com. Also make sure to follow Dr. Mark Penning on Instagram. He is Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment Vice President.
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