According to reports, sometime in May last year, a zebra had strayed on its own out of the Tsavo East National Park, one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, into a local community that borders it.
Surprisingly, she quickly made herself at home amongst the herd of cattle belonging to a local woman.
She remained there for weeks until the story was picked up by local media outlets, at which point the SWT team was asked to assist in relocating the zebra back to the protected park.
Because she had become accustomed to living community life, she was translocated to the Kenze Anti-Poaching Team base in Chyulu National Park, where a close eye could be kept on her as she settled in.
However, it was later discovered that the zebra had a brush with romance during her adventures, as a fence maintenance team spotted her earlier this year with a tiny foal by her side.
Sharing photos of what has been referred to as a “zonkey”, the group wrote:
“It’s a Zonkey!
The SWT which moved the female zebra from the community to a protected area also shared an elaborated statement of the amorous Zebra and Donkey on its website.
“Last May, the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit received a call from the KWS Community Warden at Mutomo Station. A stray zebra that had ventured out of the Tsavo East National Park and into a community bordering the park. She made herself right at home there, becoming an honorary member of a local woman’s cattle herd. This situation continued for many weeks until the story was aired on local media, and then our team was asked to help translocate the zebra back to a protected area.
“At this point, the zebra had become fairly habituated to community life, so we had to choose her new home with that in mind. We settled on our Kenze Anti-Poaching Team’s base in Chyulu National Park, so they could keep a close eye on her while she settled into her new home.
“Translocating the mare was a straightforward process; after sedating her, the team put her in the back of a pickup truck and took the most direct route into the National Park.
“Waking up upon arrival, the zebra — who was quickly proving herself to be unflappable and extremely adaptable — got to her feet and ambled off into the bush. Our Kenze team saw her frequently over the coming weeks and months; she became a regular at the water hole and often availed herself of the nearby salt lick.
“We’re happy to report that mum and baby are thriving. Their new home is in an area that isn’t plagued by heavy predation and thanks to the lush conditions, water and grass plentiful it is a good place to call home.
“We have over the decades raised many orphaned zebras, and in time, we will add to this unusual pair when it becomes time to release any zebra orphans, while this unusual pair wait for some wild zebras to discover them both. Until that day comes, they seem quite content to spend their days grazing side-by-side, a sight that makes us all stop and marvel at the wonders of nature.” SWT wrote on its website.
Image credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust