Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Becca the Zebral foal

Keepers arrived at work on 2 July 2013 to find a female Zebra foal born in the early hours of the morning.  Now at almost five weeks of age, the recently born Zebra foal named Becca meaning prophetess in Africa’s Bobangi language spoken on both sides of the Ubangi and Congo Rivers in Central Africa, is flourishing and has joined the herd with ease.

Becca has been growing in height fast and is now more stable and confident on her legs.  At an early age she was a little uneasy on her feet, especially when she frolicked around the exhibit early in the morning when the dew on the grass made it a little slippery.

Becca is being cared for extremely well by mother Kioni who is very experienced.  Becca is suckling well and even likes to chew on hay like her mum.  Becca is the 11th foal to be sired by father Tano who has been an important contributor to the breeding program here at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.  He has also played a large role in the regional Zebra population as many of his foals are now at other Zoos participating in breeding programs.

Like most foals, Becca’s day entails feeding and sleeping.  Visitors will often see her having a rest in a sunny spot in the paddock, always under the watchful eye of her mum and the rest of the herd.  A great time to see the new addition to the Zebra herd is in the morning when she is most active.

Zebra foals stripes at birth are white and reddish brown and each coat pattern is unique, just like human finger prints, that mothers use to help identify their foals in a large herd.

Although zebras are prey to lions, leopards, cheetah, hyena and wild dogs, adult zebras can kick powerfully and sometimes form a circle around the foals kicking and biting any attackers that tries to reach the youngsters.