2 Men Dive To Save A Newborn Zebra, The Mothers Reaction Is Priceless

Giving birth to a child is one of the hardest yet happiest moments in life. That’s true for both humans and the animal world.

Babies are adorable, regardless of their shape and size. The only difference between humans and animals is the fact that animal babies are more capable and independent after birth. Land animals, such as zebras or giraffes, can stand on their feet only minutes after coming out of the womb. Sea animals, like turtles and fish, can swim and find their way around immediately after hatching.

But baby animals are known for clumsiness and insecurity. It takes time to perfect the art of walking, swimming, and running. While they learn to do it almost instantly, they aren’t aware that the dangers that lie ahead can be costly.

One baby zebra had to learn this the hard way.

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

The Baby Zebra

Baby animals are extremely cute. But in addition to that, they are also very capable and independent and have a natural instinct to find their way around in nature.

But for one newborn zebra at Valencia Bioparc Zoo in Spain, this natural instinct kicked in when it shouldn’t, and it found itself in great danger. Seconds after biting the umbilical cord, the baby zebra stumbled directly into the watering hole.

What would the mother do?The Baby Zebra

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

The Mother

After 12 months of pregnancy, La Nina gave birth to a baby zebra. The advantage of being in Bioparc is that the pregnancy can be monitored 24/7, and if there are any complications, the staff is always ready to help. Furthermore, the enclosed type of park will ensure that La Nina and her baby are safe from predators. The delivery was exhausting and difficult. Luckily for La Nina, she had the help of the park’s staff. If this delivery happened in the wild, zookeepers estimated, the baby’s chances of survival would have been slim.The Mother

Image by sumulee / Pixabay

A Long Pregnancy

Zebras carry their babies for a full year before delivery. In the wilderness, they eventually separate from the herd and find a shelter where they can hide from predators. In Bioparc, animals don’t have to worry about predators. But, for this particular baby, other dangers lurked nearby. While delivery is painful for both mother and colt, the baby zebra can stand on its four legs straight away. In this case, the colt’s ability to walk seconds after birth and its adventurous spirit almost proved to be fatal.A Long Pregnancy

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Special Relationship

La Nina and Zambe had a special relationship prior to the pregnancy. But during the labor, La Nina received extra special attention from her mate. He was seen around her while she delivered the baby and the two often communicated with gentle touches.

The whole scenario was really emotional and a good showcase of how animals are not that different from humans. They have emotions, give comforting support to one another during hard times, and show love in their own way. They cannot speak, but we are sure they perfectly understand each other.Special Relationship

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

An Exhausting Labor

The labor was difficult and long. La Nina eventually collapsed due to exhaustion. Luckily, she delivered a perfectly healthy male.

As mentioned before, baby zebras can walk within minutes of delivery. It usually takes around 5 to 10 minutes to start walking and around 15 to start running.

This is, without a doubt, nature’s gift, as in the wilderness, the colt has to run in order to survive. However, in Bioparc, this gift could’ve turned fatal. The baby zebra started running moments after his mother cut the umbilical cord, and the consequences were dangerous.An Exhausting Labor

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Filming Everything

The staff at the zoo filmed the entire situation. It was a one of a kind chance to witness something so pure and natural from up close. The baby zebra laid in the sand for a few seconds, before it jumped on its four legs and shook off the dirt. This process of getting up is a natural instinct of baby zebras in order to go and get mother’s milk.

After a few moments, La Nina stood up as well and started licking the baby. But this colt had other ideas in mind. All of the dust, dirt, and sand made him want a quick bath.Filming Everything

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Running for a Bath

The licking is a natural process that all mother’s do with their newborns. However, this boy figured that licking isn’t getting the job done. Besides, why bother when there is a perfectly suitable pool of water nearby. Getting on his shaky legs, the baby zebra only had one aim in mind – dipping into the water. While the mother was too exhausted from labor, the boy was full of energy and determination to make the most out of his life. The staff at the zoo was unsure of what will happen next.Running for a Bath

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Baby Zebras Cannot Swim

Zebras are actually great swimmers, but their babies aren’t. And even though they can walk and run within minutes of being brought to the world, baby zebras cannot swim. Their muscles aren’t accustomed to this function, which is most likely taught later on.

The mother watched in shock as the baby plunged into the water. Knowing that the baby cannot swim, the mother started making noises, calling for help. She was not strong enough to jump in after the baby as she spent hours in labor, and now the baby was at risk of drowning.Baby Zebras Cannot Swim

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram


The first few years are crucial in the lives of zebras. In the wild, the separation from the herd is not only a move made to protect mother and colt from predators. It is also a way for the baby to get to know the mother’s smell and sound. This period that they spend together is vital in both of their lives. And like all mother’s, zebras are extremely protective of their offspring. La Nina knew that the baby needed her help, but she was unable to do much. The exhaustion was huge, and the fear of separation made her cry in despair.Despair

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

The Rescue

The pool at Bioparc is small enough for a grown zebra to take a bath in without any risk of drowning. But for baby zebras, the water is too deep, meaning that a baby zebra cannot reach the bottom of the pool.

La Nina started to Panic.

The baby began to drown, desperately gasping for air. The mother stood on the shore, confused, disoriented, and desperate.

To innocent bystanders, this feat does not seem like much. But baby zebras can actually weigh between 30 to 40 kg, meaning it’s very hard to hold them. Also, the panic from drowning turned this baby into a very dangerous animal.

Will the zookeepers be ablt to help?The Rescue

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

A Dangerous Task

Luckily, La Nina and her colt were not in the wilderness.

Two brave zookeepers jumped in the water and started approaching the baby zebra. This was very dangerous, not only because of the protective mother but also because of the panicking baby that threw its hooves in all directions.

Still, the zookeepers wasted no time and started rescuing the baby zebra. The rest of the staff filmed their heroic effort, and the video went viral. If it wasn’t for them, this bath could’ve been the last one for the baby zebra.A Dangerous Task

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Special Training

Zookeepers go through special training in order to learn how to deal with animals. The biggest part of the training is learning how to deal with mothers. The men knew of the dangers and risks of approaching the baby. A full-grown zebra is a force of destruction – it weighs over 300 kg and have extremely strong muscles and legs. One kick in a wrong spot and the zookeepers would be the ones in need of help.

When they approached the baby, the mother started jumping and moving towards them. They knew they will need to keep their distance in order to avoid conflict.Special Training

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Running Towards the Shore

Luckily, the men were able to catch the baby and started carrying it to shore. The baby zebra was panicking and in shock. It desperately cried for its mother and definitely learned that even a small pool of water can be deadly. If it wasn’t for the zookeepers’ help, the baby zebra would definitely drown.

As the men carried the baby to safety, everyone was waiting for the mother’s reaction. The zookeepers knew that the mother could come rushing and make this rescue even more dangerous than it isRunning Towards the Shore

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Protective Mother

Carrying a baby for 12 (and sometimes even 13) full months and giving birth for more than a few hours can take a toll on mother zebra.

La Nina was evidentially exhausted, but when the two men grabbed her baby, she went almost full rage. She gathered enough strength to start moving through the water and towards the men holding her baby captive. She had an aggressive posture and was ready to fight to the last breath.

But the zookeepers were equally prepared for dealing with angry animals.Protective Mother

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Looming Danger

La Nina was clearly in distress.

Animals can be very dangerous in this state, but the Bioparc staff knew that facing her wrath is much easier than losing a baby. It would be devastating, and animals are known to grieve a long period of time after losing offspring.

The situation didn’t look too good. The baby tried to keep its head above water, and the mother was ready to attack. The two zookeepers hauled the little animal out of the water and towards the shore as quickly as possible.Looming Danger

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Buying Time

When they carried the baby to shore, one of the zookeepers made a brilliant move that bought them just enough time to finish the job.

When the mother started approaching dangerously close, he started splashing water directly into her face. This was a warning sign for her to back off and stay away. Of course, it was a move to buy time. Thankfully it worked, and the mother was stumped for a few seconds, before continuing her move towards the baby.

The zookeepers dropped the baby on the shore and made their way back into the water. La Nina had a reaction that made almost everyone cry.Buying Time

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

A Heartwarming Reunion

The reunion was a heartwarming, pleasing sight. The men were very courageous in their effort to save the baby, but they were not planning to stick around for a group hug. They knew their place. Even though the park animals are used to human company, they were still wild animals, incredibly unpredictable. This is especially the case when they are with their offspring. The mom approached her baby and started licking him and checking if he is alright. It was a traumatic experience for everyone involved.A Heartwarming Reunion

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Back to Safety

Mother and son were now safe and sound. They could finish the bonding process and continue their regular activities. This traumatic experience was a lesson for everyone. In a matter of minutes, the baby was delivered, jumped on its feet, and rushed to the nearby pool of water. Split seconds separated between life and death and luckily for this family of zebras, zookeepers were there to help. The baby would’ve drowned as the mother watched helplessly from the shore, unable to do anything due to extreme exhaustionBack to Safety

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Not in the Wild

Many of the visitors, as well as people watching the video on the internet, are pretty sure that La Nina was extremely thankful for the help. She knows she is in a safe place. If this was the wilderness, things could’ve gotten really bad, real fast. Not only would the baby drown, but there could’ve been predators around. This would’ve been a really easy meal for a hungry crocodile or even a land predator.

In this park, however, there is no need for the survival of the fittest. Animals have constant care, and the park staff ais always monitoring the general wellbeing of all animals.Not in the Wild

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

The Nature Up-Close

The labor happened during opening hours of the park. There were numerous visitors who took photos and filmed the whole thing. They witnessed the beauty of nature and birth of life. But they also witnessed how cruel and deadly mother nature can be. The baby was alive for a few minutes, and it could’ve all ended very badly. But the zookeepers didn’t sit idly and risked their own wellbeing to save the baby. There was a loud cheer and massive applause after the men dragged the baby ashore in order to be reunited with the mother.The Nature Up-Close

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

After the Trauma

Animals may not display feelings, but there was a clear sign of happiness and gratitude. Mother and son were reunited on the shore, and they could continue to bond and play. The crowd witnessed the baby’s first feeding, and the family was now back together after the traumatic event.

Life can be very dangerous, and this baby zebra learned it the hard way. Even though he could walk after a few minutes, he now certainly knows he can’t swim. After the whole event, the staff announced on their official Facebook that the mother and baby are doing fine. Everything is back to normal thanks to the park staff.After the Trauma

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Mother Keeps a Watchful Eye

While the adorable baby zebra managed to get unscathed from this unfortunate event, La Nina isn’t ready to leave him out of her sight anytime soon. The mother zebra continued to keep a watchful eye over her son, making sure that it doesn’t get into any trouble before learning necessary survival skills. This is the best proof that all mothers on Earth act the same and shows us how nature is magnificent.Mother Keeps a Watchful Eye

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

The Bioparc Zoo

Valencia Bioparc is more than just a regular zoo. It is a biological park where animals don’t live in cages. They are given a completely authentic representation of their natural habitat, and they can roam free within their respective domains. Visitors can watch behind the rails from above or the side. This zoo-immersion concept is designed with a specific goal in mind – to give the visitors an actual feeling of being part of nature and to live in harmony with it. Visiting this zoo will give you a journey where you can enjoy a unique experience that can change at any moment.The Bioparc Zoo

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Sharing Living Space

The main goal at Valencia Bioparc is to create co-existence between different animals and visitors. There are certain parts of the park where different species of animals live together like they would in the wilderness. This is the case with zebras, rhinos, and flamingos who share one part of the park.

Dangerous animals and predators are also incorporated into the park, and they can roam free. However, they are separated by an invisible barrier in order to keep the visitors safe from any unwanted problems. The whole park is built in nature, on Turia river. Before the Bioparc was built, there was already a botanical garden there. It was incorporated and expanded into Bioparc.Sharing Living Space

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Finding Mates

The animals in the zoo have mates which are provided by zookeepers. They are brought in from around the world. One of Bioparc’s policies state that every animal has a mate to ensure that the habitat remains as natural as possible.

It just so happened to be that the pair of zebras at the park are a match made in heaven. La Nina is a female zebra that was brought to the park in 2007 from Germany. Some five years later, in 2012, she gained company. Zambe was brought in from France, and you could say that the two clicked straight away.https://www.youtube.com/embed/SSrtbvi8Zs8Finding Mates

Image by @bioparcvalencia/ Instagram

Add Comment