Bush Behavior

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christmasmaThe other day I went to check on our Christmas arrival It’s hard to believe that our baby zebra, born on Christmas Day, is already three months old!

Meeting up with Mayumbelo, the security guard in charge of the zebra and giraffe, I stopped to chat. Mayumbelo is one of our special security guards – he has been to college and trained in agriculture and has a love for animals. I asked him how our baby zebra was doing.

“He is fine, Mrs Selby. Look, he is growing big now!”

As we watched the little zebra followed his mother around in an undecided fashion, unsure whether to ask her for a drink or to eat some grass.

Both Christmas and Ma were in the company of our giraffe. Shungu, our giraffe baby, is now over two years old and is growing fast. Soon she will be 15 feet tall like her parents!

Mayumbelo follows the zebra around all day—not to keep them safe, but to keep our guests safe. I’ll let Mayumbelo explain:

“When the zebra first came to the Sun International Resort, they were full of “bush behavior”. At first they would hide from everyone – guests and staff – but then gradually, they got used to us and knew that they were safe. Then they started to walk happily around the grounds, ignoring all the people.

Giraffe and zebra have big hooves and part of their bush behavior is the instinct to kick. In the wild they will kick a lion if it tries to attack them. Those hooves can do a lot of damage.

Sometimes our guests come along to see the zebra and one or two of them think that they are cute and cuddly and want to get up close. Sometimes they even want to stroke them as if they were a horse! Of course, the zebra will not like this and they kick – bush behavior. So that is why I have to keep them company all day – to keep our guests safe. But it is a nice job, I like it.”

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