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Baby News: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Zebra Foal

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

Although Walt Disney World Resort is temporarily closed, Disney’s Animal Care team is continuing to provide top-notch care to thousands of animals, including the newest addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom that’s black and white and cute all over. A Hartmann’s Zebra foal was born early Saturday morning (Mar. 21) to first-time-mom, Heidi… and we’re pleased to share the baby is a girl!

The foal, who has yet to be named, is about 65 pounds, and is quite strong – she was standing within 30 minutes of birth. Already very active and curious, this little lady is much like her mother and has very long legs.

 Check out this video captured by one of our animal keepers to see a few moments of sweet mother-daughter time.

Heidi is showing she’s a natural at parenting skills as she stays close to her baby to bond with her and nurse. Bonding is especially important, as a young zebra will imprint on its mother’s scent and memorize the unique markings on its mother’s hind legs to tell her apart from the rest of the herd. In a few weeks, after the pair develop a strong bond, they will be introduced to the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah. 

Heidi and her new baby foal at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The foal was born as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) program, which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and ensures responsible breeding and genetic diversity of thousands of species of animals. Her arrival marks the third zebra birth at Walt Disney World this year.

Hartmann’s mountain zebras are found in sub-Saharan Africa and are a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and hunting. To learn more about zebras and other species we are working to protect, visit DisneyAnimals.com and follow me on Instagram: @DrMarkAtDisney.

 With so many families at home together right now, we look forward to sharing more stories and insights about our animals and amazing cast who are caring for them. Keep an eye out for #bettertogether learning opportunities soon.

Comments

  • Name her either: Zinaida that means noble Angolan or Zuriela the means Rock goddess in Angolan

  • I think her name should be Homa; it’s fitting for the times in which she was born.

  • She is so adorable. Thanks for sharing some happy news

  • Thank you so much for a happy story.

  • is there a name for the baby???? for now, i’m going to be calling her stripes until she gets her official name

  • Thank you for your updates. Our hearts are with the CMs and thre animals. They have been the topic of many conversations! This past trip in January was filled with awesome memories with 3 tours. Sending love to all of these beautiful creatures and many thanks to all of the awesome care takers.

  • I’m really loving these baby updates that we’re getting! I hope you’ll give us an update and let us know her name in a couple of months. She is beautiful!

  • She is Adorable, Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for all you do for the animals especially during these trying times..

  • I just adore Zebras!
    I wanted one as a child until my Dad told me they aren’t domesticated :))))
    Thank you for these great images that give us much joy and happiness.
    <3WDW!

  • Thanks for the good news! Keep the animal stories

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