Is there anything more adorable than a Zebra foal with the zoomies? How about a Komodo Dragon enjoying a slice of birthday chicken?
Zoos SA has had held a double celebration this week welcoming a new Zebra foal at Monarto Safari Park and wishing Cecilia the Komodo Dragon a happy 5th birthday!
Born in 2016 at Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic, gorgeous Cecilia made the move to South Australia in 2019.
She celebrated her big day today with a birthday box of enrichment and enjoyed a tasty whole chicken yesterday.
Keeper Erin Turrell said Cecilia is quite shy but she is generally out and about in the morning or after lunch in the Reptile House.
“Cecilia has grown a lot since she arrived but she still has lots of growing to do!” she said.
“To celebrate her birthday she had her birthday box that had raw egg and cricket scented cardboard stuffed with goat fur as birthday candles.
“Her favourite treat is eggs or mice but she loves smelly goat fur and poo as enrichment to sniff!”
At Monarto, Zoos SA staff welcomed the new stripey addition to the Plains Zebra herd on December 23.
The sweet little one has enjoyed exploring it’s new surroundings and zipping and zooming around its mum, 14-year-old Thembela.
This is Thembela’s fourth foal, and was fathered by Monarto’s dominant male, Storm.
Keeper, Paul Riley, said the team were very excited to hear the pitter-patter of tiny hooves across the park.
“It was very exciting for us to have a Zebra foal born over Christmas,” he said. “We don’t know the sex yet, but we have loved seeing the foal playing and exploring.”
The new foal brings Monarto Safari Park’s zebra herd numbers to 19.
The little one was born in Monarto’s Wild Africa precinct, currently off-limits to the public. The precinct, set to open in 2022, will include a 560-hectare safari experience, luxury hotel and glamping accommodation.
The experience will emulate the African Plains with wild safari experiences including open-sided vehicle tours through herds of roaming animals.
This first stage of the Wild Africa development is known as “Etosha” after Etosha National Park in Namibia. This area is now home Scimmitar-horned Oryx, Blackbuck, Ostrich, Waterbuck and Eland.
Soon the area will also house other free-ranging species including giraffe, zebra, Nyala, and Southern White Rhino.
Monarto Safari Park’s new Visitor Centre is also set to open in March next year.
The final touches are now being installed including the addition of a feature boab tree and the completion of external cladding of Corten steel, internal walls and floor coverings.
The Visitor Centre project received $11.25m of funding from the Australian Government and $4.55m from the State Government towards a total $16.8m cost of building the new Visitor Centre.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge also contributed to the project through the construction of a new slip lane entry from Monarto Road.
You can also see our bachelor herd of Plains Zebra from our Zu-loop bus!
This beautiful black-and-white striped species roams the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa.
Zebras have several predators in the wild. When threatened, their unique coat patterns, when moving together in a group, can make it difficult for a predator to pick out an individual, giving the zebra a greater chance of survival.
For more information or to book your tickets to visit Monarto Safari Park or Adelaide Zoo these holidays, please visit www.monartosafari.com.au or www.adelaidezoo.com.au.