The National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra is celebrating the arrival of a female zebra foal.
The adorable stripy arrival is slowly finding her feet around her new home, under the watchful eye of her protective herd.
Born to mum, Kike, and dad, Tambo, on 2 November, it was only a matter of minutes before the foal was standing. Although wobbly at first, these impressive animals can even run within the first two hours of being born!
Operations manager Renee Osterloh said it’s wonderful to see a new foal in the herd of zebra.
“Kike is a great mum and guests will see that she is never far away from her foal,” Renee said.
“We’ve had huge success with breeding here at the zoo and we’re proud to be contributing towards the plains zebra regional programme.
“Although plains zebra are considered the most widespread zebra in Africa, sadly they still face many threats in the wild, such as habitat loss, hunting and competition with livestock.”
The gestation period for zebras is approximately 12 to 13 months and females generally only give birth to one foal. In the first few days, only the mother will interact with the foal, but after this period she will allow other herd members to join in and interact with the little one.
A foal will suckle for up to 16 months but nursing can continue even after that period.