ANIMAL KINGDOM — AFRICA’S SAVANNAS HAVE TWO YOUNG NEWCOMERS ON VIEW
Two frisky zebra foals have been welcomed into their new environments…
Two new Grevy’s zebra foals can be seen frolicking on the savanna along the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. The young colts, Youka and Zalika, resemble their mothers in both stripe pattern and behavior. Although Zalika tends to be a bit shy, Youka is quite independent and curious in nature. They are both learning from their moms how to chew hay and bathe themselves with dust.
Grevy’s or Imperial zebras are the largest of the zebra species and roam the plains of East Africa. They have distinctively thin stripes, round ears and a bristly mane running from their heads down their backs. Hartmann’s zebras have a range throughout southern Africa. Their distinguishing characteristics are bold stripes, especially on the upper hind legs, mule-like ears and a dewlap or fold of skin under their throats.
Surprisingly, zebras have black skins under their white coats… even though they appear to have black stripes! Just like fingerprints, no two zebra stripe patterns are alike. Stripes do help zebras in several ways…
- Camouflaging them from predators while standing together in groups
- Protecting them from the sun’s harsh African rays
- Making them unattractive to dangerous insects like tsetse flies
The Hartmann’s zebra is considered vulnerable while the Grevy’s is on the endangered species list. Both species of zebras are declining in population due to…
- Loss of suitable habitats and accessible water sources
- Poaching for their valuable hides
Youka and Zalika are just two examples of the many baby animals successfully born and raised in captivity at Animal Kingdom. Stop by to see these two young zebras as they acclimate to their new environments in the “wilds” of Africa.