Stripy new baby for Werribee Zoo

18 November 2019

Werribee Open Range Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a baby zebra – the first to be born on its Lower Savannah in more than a decade. The young female Plains Zebra has been named Zari – an African-inspired name that means ‘golden’.

Born during the early hours of November 2, Zari is the first foal for parents Zaide and Melako, and the first zebra foal born on the Lower Savannah in 17 years.


There are three different herds of Plains Zebra at the Zoo and until recently, it was a non-breeding group that shared the savannah with giraffe, rhinoceros, eland, ostrich and Scimitar-horned oryx. The groups have enjoyed a change of scenery, with the breeding herd moving into this space for the first time.

“It’s so great to see a little zebra running around on the Lower Savannah after all these years,” said Savannah Keeper Lauren Irving. “Zari is extremely curious and has introduced herself to all the other species, including eland and rhino”.

While their long legs may look unsteady, a baby zebra is up and walking within 20 minutes of being born, and running with the herd an hour later. They spend the first few days of their lives learning their mothers smell, stripe pattern and voice.

“Zari has certainly found her feet,” Ms Irving said. “The little filly has been running around and bucking in the rain, having a great time.

“Zaide is an excellent mother and is keeping her new foal nice and close. Mum and Zari are always side by side. Zaide is teaching Zari the lay of the land – she needs to learn about other animals, her environment and the keepers that care for her.”

The population of Plains Zebras is decreasing in the wild due to competition with domestic livestock for already limited natural resources, such as grass and water.

A visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo helps fight extinction, both locally and internationally, while supporting conservation campaign Beads for Wildlife that helps communities and protects wildlife such as Zebra.


Zoo members and visitors can meet Zari while on the Safari Bus, free with entry.