Werribee Open Range Zoo has a new “golden” child.
Zari, the first zebra born at the zoo in 17 years, was welcomed by parents Zaide and Melako in the early hours of November 2.
The young female was named Zari – an African-inspired name that means golden.
Savannah keeper Lauren Irving said the youngster will share her home with giraffe, rhinoceros, eland, ostrich and Scimitar-horned oryx.
“It’s so great to see a little zebra running around on the Savannah,” Ms Irving said.
“Zari is extremely curious and has introduced herself to all the other species, including eland and rhino.”
Baby zebra walk on wobbly legs within 20 minutes of being born and can run with the herd after an hour.
They also spend the first few days of their lives learning their mothers smell, stripe pattern and voice.
“Zari has certainly found her feet,” Ms Irving said.
“The little filly has been running around and bucking in the rain, having an excellent time.
“Zaide is an excellent mother and is keeping her new foal nice and close.
“Mum and Zari are always side by side. Zaide is teaching Zari the lay of the land – she needs to learn about other animals, her environment and the keepers that care for her.”
Ms Irving said the population of plains zebras is decreasing in the wild due to competition with domestic livestock for already limited natural resources such as grass and water.
Zoo members and visitors can meet Zari while on the Safari Bus, free with entry.