Our friends at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., experienced their first significant snowfall of the year Jan. 31. While three of their black-and-white animals stole the internet’s hearts with their playful antics, our trio of Hartmann’s mountain zebras were celebrating their namesake holiday: International Zebra Day!
Here in the foothills of the Shenandoah, we see a decent amount of snow every winter. The latest storm dropped between eight and 10 inches of snow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. You may be surprised to know that Hartmann’s mountain zebras—which are native to the dry mountain habitats of Namibia—are fairly tolerant of the cold. Even though they have access to a heated barn and stalls filled with fresh hay bedding, our zebra herd is often already outside by the time we arrive and begin our day. Only when the snow is very deep do our zebras choose to spend more time inside eating than outside grazing in their pastures.
On Feb. 2, our youngest zebra, Yipes, turned 7 months old. It is hard to believe that he is already a juvenile! As a newborn colt, he stuck close by his mother Mackenzie’s side. Just like her, Yipes was quite cautious and aloof and preferred to play by plucking pieces of grass and tossing them in the air. Over the past few months, however, we have seen him become much more rambunctious and goofy like his father, Rogan.