Zoo welcomes baby zebra

Zola. Picture supplied

Tara Murray

Werribee Zoo’s newest member has created plenty of excitement for staff and visitors over the holidays.

Zola, a plains zebra, was born on December 28 and has taken her first days in her stride as she joins her mother, Zaide and siblings Mudhe and Zari in the zoo’s lower savannah.

Savannah keeper Lauren Irving said Zola is making herself at home alongside the 13 other African species that share her habitat.

“Zola is not straying far from mum Zaide’s side at the moment,” Ms Irving said.

“If she’s anything like her mother, she will grow up to be an incredibly confident and assertive zebra.”

Ms Irving said the zebras at the zoo form part of a regional breeding program to maintain an insurance population in the fight against extinction, with zebras are classified as near-threatened in the wild.

“This precious filly is already doing a fantastic job of educating our visitors as an ambassador for her wild cousins,” Ms Irving said.

“She doesn’t know it, but she and her family serve a critical role in the survival of her species.”

The birth of the new zebra is the latest in a boom of new animals with five Scimitar-horned oryx and six Lowland nyala have arrived during the past two months.

The newest savannah residents can be seen running amok already.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of these precious savannah babies while on the zoo’s safari bus tours, which is included in general entry.

Tara Murray