Zebra ‘adopts’ baby giraffe

2014-05-26 00:00

THREE months after the birth of a giraffe bull it is still being guarded by a doting zebra stallion.

Wardens at the Tri-Hunt-game reserve near Brandfort in the Free State said the unique relationship has now saved the stallion’s life.

Willie Maas Jnr (21), who farms with his father Willie Snr on the farm, said the stallion had been removed from the farm’s hunting list, after it won everyone’s heart. Maas said the stallion, which would have been a loner in the zebra herd, is now quite the man about town on the farm. “He does not even know that his caring for the the giraffe has saved his life.”

When sister paper Volksblad visited the farms, a buck moved too close to the giraffe for the stallion’s liking and it chased it off in a cloud of dust — the three-month giraffe tagging behind to see what the fuss was about. In the back, the giraffe’s real parents also followed. Maas said the real parents took the stallion’s baby-sitting in their stride.

Maas said the stallion had been pushed out of the herd but, undaunted, had grabbed the first chance he got to make a new herd for himself. When the bull was born in February, the zebra stallion stood by and even licked on the afterbirth. The cow allowed it and since then the two had been inseparable.

“It is quite unique,” said Maas.

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