Foal in love with Werribee Open Range Zoo's newest arrival
The dazzle of Plains zebra at Werribee Open Range Zoo has welcomed its newest member. And, the little bundle of joy is taking her first days in striped stride.
Filly, Zola – meaning quiet or tranquil in Zulu – was born last week to mum, Zaide, and joins siblings, Mudhe and Zari, on the Zoo’s lower savannah.
Savannah keeper Lauren Irving said Zola is making herself at home alongside the 13 other African species that share her habitat, including Southern white rhino, Giraffe and Ostriches.
“Zola is not straying far from mum Zaide’s side at the moment,” said Ms Irving. “If she’s anything like her mother, she will grow up to be an incredibly confident and assertive zebra.”
Zebras are classified as near-threatened in the wild, with their numbers declining due to habitat destruction, poaching and competition with agriculture.
Ms Irving said the zebras at Werribee Open Range Zoo form part of a regional breeding program to maintain an insurance population in the fight against extinction.
“This precious filly is already doing a fantastic job of educating our visitors as an ambassador for her wild cousins,” said Ms Irving. “She doesn’t know it, but she and her family serve a critical role in the survival of her species.”
Anyone can support zebra conservation through Zoos Victoria’s Beads for Wildlife program. Funds raised through the sale of handmade beadwork via Zoos Victoria’s retail stores go towards protecting the rangelands where zebras reside in Northern Kenya.
Werribee Open Range Zoo re-opened to visitors in October under the latest changing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions by the Victorian Government. Daily visitor numbers are capped and all tickets must be pre-purchased online. For more information, visit: www.zoo.org.au