Rare zebra foal presented by a proud mother

Adorable images show a rare zebra foal with its doting mother as it is shown to wildlife fans at the world’s oldest zoo.

The foal, less than 5 weeks old, took his first shaky steps into the spotlight as the mare led him through her state-of-the-art enclosure.

The self-proclaimed oldest zoo in the world, Zoo Wien, also known as Tiergarten Schönbrunn, in the Austrian capital of Vienna, said in a statement: “In early June, a Burchell’s zebra saw the light of day at Tiergarten Schönbrunn.

Rare zebra fool at Vienna Zoo
The foal, less than 5 weeks old, took his first shaky steps into the spotlight when his mother gave him a tour of her state-of-the-art enclosure at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria’s capital, Vienna.
Daniel Zuanc/Zenger

“The foal weighs around 30 kilograms [66 lbs] and is nursed by his mother for about eight months.”

Footage shows the young foal trotting after its mother in the enclosure shared with a gazelle.

Sometimes the celebrity seems a bit too much for the nervous boy and he hides behind his mama, but a calming sip of milk can’t fix it and the foal is soon trotting through the enclosure again.

Keeper Gregor Hirsch explained: “Zebras are usually born very quickly, after about 15 minutes it’s over.

“Everything went very well with our current offspring and the young animal is doing well.

“He’s now exploring the grounds and occasionally nibbling on the hay with the rest of the herd. But he stays close to his mother.”

Rare zebra fool at Vienna Zoo
The foal, less than 5 weeks old, is seen at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria’s capital Vienna.
Daniel Zuanc/Zenger

The zoo added: “The natural range of the Burchell’s zebra is the African savannah south of the Sahara.

“The animals are best known for their striking striped pattern.”

Zoo Director Stephan Hering-Hagenbeck: “The Burchell’s zebra has a long tradition in Vienna.

“For more than 80 years, this animal species has been part of the permanent animal population at Schönbrunn Zoo.”

The Burchell’s zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) is a relatively rare subspecies of the Burchell’s zebra (Equus Quagga), which was once thought to be extinct in the wild after being overly hunted in the early 20th century, but a few populations have since been identified in central and southern Africa.

The Plains zebra is listed as “Near Threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Rare zebra fool at Vienna Zoo
The foal, less than 5 weeks old, frolics in Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria’s capital, Vienna.
Daniel Zuanc/Zenger

It is one of the smallest subspecies of zebra and is often difficult to distinguish from other zebra species.

They are found in the savannas and grasslands of central and southern Africa, from southern Ethiopia to South Africa.

Hering-Hagenbeck said: “A typical feature of Burchell’s zebras are the lighter ‘shadow stripes’ between the characteristic black stripes.

“Each zebra has an individual pattern, family members mainly recognize each other by smell.”

Burchell’s zebra foals are born with a brown down covering their bodies. It eventually disappears as they get older.

Rare zebra fool at Vienna Zoo
The foal, less than 5 weeks old, took his first shaky steps into the spotlight as his mother showed him around her state-of-the-art enclosure at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria’s capital, Vienna.
Daniel Zuanc/Zenger

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

https://www.newsweek.com/rare-zebra-foal-shown-off-proud-mom-1719228 Rare zebra foal presented by a proud mother

Rick Schindler

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