Welcome Youka and Zalika, two Grevy’s zebra foals born within the last month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, who are now visible on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. The foals are already reflections of their moms – both in their stripe patterns, which carry down to the next generation and in their behavior and demeanor.
The zebra animal care team has noticed that Laylee’s foal Youka is more curious and independent, while Zuri’s foal Zalika is a bit bashful. Zebras learn by watching, so the foals are learning a lot by mimicking their moms. For example, the foals watch their moms chew hay, so they try to do it, too. The pair also try to copy their moms when they bathe themselves in dust. Each day brings new learnings as the foals continue to grow and thrive.
In talking to zebra keepers Collin Beatty and Lori Kurdziel, I learned both Laylee and Zuri are excellent moms. Zuri hovers more over her foal Zalika, sticking close and keeping a watchful eye on her. Laylee has always been very curious and outgoing, and it seems her foal Youka is as well.
Grevy’s zebras are the most endangered of all zebra species, and these births were a result of our ongoing commitment to the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which helps ensure healthy, genetically diverse populations of animals for years to come.