Zebra Birth and High Drama at Mapula Lodge

On September 15th, 2009 a new zebra entered the world and amazingly clients of The Wild Source, Marc and Rossana from Australia were there to observe this incredible event. That was very fortunate as Marc is an incredible photographer and has been generous enough to share this amazing series of photos!
As you will see, the birth of the zebra was just the beginning of an action-packed day that included a lot of predator-zebra drama.
All photos courtesy of Marc Mol and all rights reserved.

9:00 AM – Zebra Emerges

A zebra that had been laying down stands up and a delicate new baby begins to emerge. © Marc Mol

9:02 AM – Zebra Foal Touches Down

The new foal touches the Botswana earth for the first time while mother remains vigilant for danger. © Marc Mol

9:03 AM – Happy Birthday!

A new zebra makes it onto the earth – Happy Birthday! © Marc Mol

9:07 AM – Stand on Your Own

Four minutes later the little foal is already able to stand, albeit with a little assist from mom. © Marc Mol

9:09 AM – Walking Into Danger?

Just two minutes later, the zebra foal takes its first steps. © Marc Mol
Now the dangerous world of predator and prey really begins. Marc and Rossana became worried as the new mom and baby headed off in the direction of where they had just seen the pack of 10 African Wild Dogs. Not good news for a zebra foal who is still learning to walk.

9:44 AM – African Wild Dogs Crash the Birthday Party

Better than Ice Cream and Cake! African Wild Dogs Enjoying Birthday Party Treats © Marc Mol
Fortunately for the Zebra foal, this may not be his only birthday. As it turns out, the wild dog pack moved right past the new foal and mother and decided that no snack could be more nutritious than the placenta which was run around with and ripped to bits by the dogs. The zebra was safe…. for the time being.
A full morning concluded, Marc and Rossana returned to Mapula Lodge for lunch and siesta. However, the afternoon drive would bring additional drama!

5:18 PM – Zebra: Its what’s for Dinner

A Leopard Enjoys A Zebra Dinner © Marc Mol
Mapula’s goliath of a leopard, known as Big Boy, is spotted with a zebra kill. Hold breath, cross fingers, or as they say in Botswana stand on toes – It’s not the baby zebra!! Big Boy is feasting on a young zebra but not the star of today’s safari show.

5:58 PM – Birthday Wish Granted

A Leopard with a Full Belly Offers Much Less of a Threat © Marc Mol
With the resident leopard, Big Boy, fully satiated on a distant cousin, it appears that the foal will make it to see another day. His birthday wish has been granted.
Meanwhile, Big Boy is fully relaxed and laying up in the tree and gave a phenomenal sighting over about an hour and a half period. This guy is the biggest leopard most people will ever see, built more like a jaguar than typical leopard, and he often likes to pose for guests.

This is just a small sampling of a tremendous portfolio of photos taken by Marc at Mapula, Deception Valley Lodge, and on a mobile through a few of Botswana’s public park areas such as Xakanaxa in the Moremi Game Reserve and Savuti inside of Chobe National Park. To enjoy the full array of spectacular photos visit Marc’s album. Huge thanks to Marc and Rossana for sharing their photos and experience.

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