From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Dr. Mark Penning
As part of our #DisneyMagicMoments, many of you may have seen the news of the Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal, born earlier this month at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m delighted to share she just made her grand entrance onto the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna with her mother, Heidi.
I’m also excited to share she entered the savanna with a gorgeous name, Asha. Asha’s name means “hope” in Sanskrit, and “life” in Swahili, and it was chosen by Walt Disney World Cast Members, who had a chance to vote on potential names.
While we normally reserve the naming of a new baby for the Cast Members on our animal care team, we decided to ask all Walt Disney World Cast Members to help us choose this little one’s name as a special opportunity for all our Cast to be part of a beautiful moment in this challenging time in the world.
It’s always a joy to see a baby animal go on the savannah for the first time.
Zoological Manager Meaghan McCarthy was on hand for the special moment and says Asha excitedly ventured onto the savanna along with her mom, Heidi. The foal was eager to stretch her long legs, run and play along with other members of the Hartmann’s herd.
Meaghan tells me this little foal is inquisitive and brave. Asha encountered a lot of firsts and lots of learning on her first venture out. She confidently stood beside her mom, Heidi, while meeting a member of her zebra herd, saw just how tall a giraffe stands, heard the call of a hyena, and got a taste of grass. Asha boldly ventured away from mom to explore, but quickly responded when Heidi came to collect her.
Hartmann’s mountain zebras are found in sub-Saharan Africa and are a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and hunting. To learn more about zebras and other species we are working to protect, visit DisneyAnimals.com and follow me and my amazing team on Instagram: @DrMarkAtDisney.