Zebras are very social. Unlike other animals, they stay with their families for life. Small family groups assign themselves a herd and that herd travels together until death.
Foals remain close to their mothers who are constantly on the lookout for predators. In a herd, when one zebra is attacked, the others circle around it to scare off the predator. Rarely does a zebra attack another zebra in its herd, that’s why this herd’s defenses were down when one of its own babies became prey.
A male zebra attempts to leave the foal lifeless. What its mum does, is more than an act of nature.
See for yourself!
There’s Something Not Quite Right
Back in February, sight-seers were able to capture quite an extraordinary event at Etosha National Park in the Namibia Desert of Africa. Footage was taken by Daniel Tjärnén, a railroad worker on vacation to Namibia. “We were hoping for a once in a lifetime sighting,” he said. Boy, did they get it!
No Way This Is Happening!
“We were driving up to this waterhole, hoping to get some good sightings and especially hoping to see some predators,” said Tjärnén, when the couple noticed a baby zebra wading in shallow waters. They had a feeling that something was unusual, but what happened next completely shocked them.
Male Zebra Attacks Foal
Tjärnén continued, “We saw this dazzle of zebras drinking from the waterhole, and then we suddenly noticed that one zebra was actively attacking a young foal.” Tjärnén pulled out his camera to record the scene as bystanders started gasping and screaming when what they were witnessing became clear. “First it was a bit shocking, but I guess it’s the way of nature,” said Tjärnén.
He Seriously Drowning The Baby!
The male zebra sinks its teeth into the baby foal and tries to drown it. As the male pushes the foal down, it struggles beneath him. Onlookers begin to panic, screaming things like, “why kill the baby?” Just when the bystanders were going to intervene and attempt a rescue, something amazing happened.
Oh No You Don’t!
Even safari guides with the most experience haven’t been able to witness something as astonishing as this. The foal’s mother becomes tired of watching her baby being attacked, so she enters the water and diverts the male’s attention. At first, the male ignores her, but then he clearly gets frustrated and mum’s plan starts to work.
You Bit My Baby!
When the male sees that he’s been fooled and the foal is getting away, he attacks again, this time taking a chunk out of the foal’s back. The baby panics and frantically runs away with the teeth of the male still sunk into its back. By now, mum is fuming.
Kick Me One More Time!
Mum runs after the male who is running after her baby. At first, she can’t keep up. The male zebra stays in the lead by kicking her in her face and side as she’s about to get close enough to release her revenge. She finally gets around his hooves to do this…
Mum Has Some Serious Muscle!
With all her strength and rage, mum pummels the male zebra and sends him spinning. She takes her baby’s predator all the way down. The bystanders can be heard cheering her on in the footage that was taken. Even a giraffe wanders out of the bushes to check out the fight. The crowd whistles, thinking it’s all over, but the male gets back up.
Run For The Hills!
Mum and baby use all their leftover energy to try to make it through the brush and over the hills. The male zebra is still in hot pursuit. For a moment, it looks as if he’s going to catch up again. Mum nubs her baby on the back end to keep pushing it forward, as it limps because of the wound from the male zebra’s teeth.
And… They’re Safe!
Thankfully, mum and baby make it a safe distance from the male, and to the relief of all those watching–both animals and humans–the male zebra gives up the hunt. Nobody really knows why he decided to pick on that little one, but he was certainly no match for mum.
Watch the video below!