Baby Zebra Explores Habitat at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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A Grevy’s zebra foal stayed close to his mother while exploring his habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on January 14, 2014. The baby, named Tanu, was born on January 3 and is the fifth baby for mother Bakavu.

Bakavu is very protective over her offspring and keeps her baby near at all times. Keepers say she is doing a great job and that it is natural for a mother zebra to be so protective of her foal. The two run and interact with other members of the Grevy’s zebra herd at the Safari Park but Mom always keep a barrier between baby and the other zebras.

Tanu can tell his mother apart from other zebras in the herd and knows to stay close to her by memorizing her unique stripe pattern. The memorization happens just after a zebra is born and is called imprinting. Grevy’s zebras have the skinniest stripes of any zebra species; the stripes run all the way down their back to a white belly. Every zebra has a unique stripe pattern.

Photo taken on Jan. 14, 2014, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park.