Shungu the zebra eats shopping list

2015-09-09 15:28
Shungu with Eli. (simonherring.blogspot.com)

Shungu with Eli. (simonherring.blogspot.com)

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Harare - Zimbabwean lodge hospitality manager Simon Herring has a good excuse for not buying everything on his shopping list after an inquisitive young zebra took a bite out of it. 

Shungu, a five-month-old foal, was nosing around the thatched cottage serving as a reception building at the luxury safari lodge Pamuzinda on Sunday when he spied the shopping list on which Herring was working.

"I was just at my desk," Herring said in a telephone interview. "Shungu came up and grabbed the paper off the desk. He does like to nibble everything."

Herring quickly retrieved the list, but not before Shungu had munched a large hole into it.

"He knew he'd been bad," said Herring.

However, he could not be too cross with the little zebra, who loves the occasional "snuggle" and whose tale of tenacious survival would warm any heart.

The plucky foal - Shungu means "spirit" or "guts" in Shona - was set upon by two males when he was just a few hours old, back in March.

The stallions were trying to take over the herd and, as often happens, were clearly trying to kill the newborn foal, who was so tiny he still had his umbilical cord attached. It is a means for a victorious male to eliminate alien genes in the herd and cut down on competition for females.

Lodge staff rescued Shungu, who was quickly adopted by dog Eli. The male pointer cross licked Shungu's wounds and refused to leave his side in those first critical days after the attack.

Happily, Shungu survived and now lives with the horses at Pamuzinda. He is "addicted" to horse cubes, said Herring. 
Eli, his job done, now lives back at the main lodge.

Yet, Shungu could not be reintegrated into the herd, Herring said. That may explain his lunge for the shopping list.

"He checks to see what is edible or not. I guess his mother would normally teach him, but as he doesn't have one. He is on his own," he said.

Happily, the shopping still got done - but the missing bit was never retrieved.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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