US zoo welcomes rare zebra filly foal

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Heidi with her new filly foal, who was born on March 21.
Heidi with her new filly foal, who was born on March 21. © Walt Disney World Resort

A filly foal has been born into the herd of Hartmann’s Mountin Zebra at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The foal was born to first-time mother Heidi on March 21. She 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.

The new filly does not yet have a name.

“Heidi is showing she’s a natural at parenting skills as she stays close to her baby to bond with her and nurse,” said Dr Mark Penning, vice-president, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks.

Heidi’s filly foal was born on March 21. © Walt Disney World Resort

“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.”

Hartmann’s mountain zebras are found in sub-Saharan Africa and are a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and hunting.

The first Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom arrived on January 21. The colt was born to Prima.

Prima's colt was born on January 21.
Prima’s colt was born on January 21. © Walt Disney World Resort

 

 

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