Just Browsing Around

For International Zebra Day, Chef Yohn decided to see if the Zoo’s four Hartmann’s mountain zebra would step outside of the box (pun intended) and try something new. Chef Yohn calls the dazzle of grazers “basic”, meaning they stick to eating their hay and typically don’t interact with enrichment items other than carrots and sweet feed. Using items the zebras already find tasty, Chef Yohn decided to see just how far, or close, the girls would get to his special Animeals.

Using cardboard boxes, as well as wild carrots picked fresh from the Animal Wellness Gardens, Chef Yohn prepared some browse boxes. The Horticulture Department cut bamboo, Wax myrtle, Russian olive and parsley from around Zoo grounds, and Chef Yohn also grabbed some Timothy hay. Surely all this yummy greenery would entice the zebras, right? Watch and see for yourself.

No matter how intrigued Abby, Zelda, Rose and Rue were by the Animeals, none were brave enough to go near – at least not with an audience around. The zebra went on to eat from their regular hay piles while their exhibit mates, three watusi named Gamba, Kamau and Khari, had their go at the enrichment. The boys did not hesitate to munch on the browse and carrots and were quick to slide around the boxes before giving one a nice stomp!

Although this International Zebra Day Animeals was a bust for our zebras, the celebration wasn’t wasted thanks to the rambunctious watusi. Join us next month to see who will receive the next Animeals from Chef Yohn!