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Our New Zebra Foal Firecracker!

By Chris Taylor Sunday, July 16, 2017

That’s right ladies and gentlemen our zebra foal that was born on the 4th of July is a boy. Firecracker is one of our newest residents in the park and we needed to make sure both baby and mom were comfortable before we went in and gave him a check up.

That’s an interesting thing about a baby zebra and mom. When the baby is born, the mom will keep baby close and away from the herd. This will allow the baby to become more familiar with the sights, sounds and smells of mom.

The foal will begin to walk within 15 minutes of birth and this is very important because zebras basically spend their days walking. When you watch a foal nursing, it takes place over a matter of seconds and happens often throughout the day. This allows the herd to keep moving throughout the day because being stationary isn’t what’s best for business.

At birth the baby has its stripes and they’re really brown in color. Little known fact is that zebra stripes are all a rich brown. Think mocha, let’s call them a mocha color on the stripes. For all intensive purposes, yes black and white stripes until you look closely.

A Heavy Load

Moving on, a baby zebra weighs around 70 pounds at birth, that is a well developed animal at birth. Here’s a great comparison. At birth a baby joey (kangaroo) is like the tip of your pinky, blind and guided from the mother’s womb to her pouch by mom where the joey will develop in the pouch. Compared to that the zebra foal looks like a teenager ha ha ha ha!

So what’s next for Firecracker? The next move for our 4th of July baby is imitating the herd. Firecracker will now observe and imitate his mother and the herd for grazing and behavioral purposes. He will still nurse with mom and the weaning period is usually 6 to 7 months with mom lactating for up to a year.

Now when you visit Timbavati Wildlife Park, you have intimate knowledge of our newest member of the family, Firecracker!

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