Giraffes, zebras live together at San Antonio Zoo

Officials plan to integrate species as they are in the wild

SAN ANTONIO – Zebras and giraffes now live together at the San Antonio Zoo.

"These are two animals that you find together in the wild, out in the open savanna," said senior animal care specialist Melannie Lough. "So the goal of this exhibit when we renovated it a little while back was to be able to integrate species that naturally live together in the wild.”

The introductions began last month and the new exhibit is on display now. The animals were previously neighbors.

"We slowly let the zebras kind of hang out in this area by themselves before the giraffes were in here with them so they could kind of learn the area and learn the layout and everything, and get used to it on their own," Lough said. 

The benefit is twofold, not just for the animals, but for visitors.

"We give them a closer to authentic experience to what they would see out in the savanna," Lough said. "It gives them a little bit more of an understanding, and an appreciation, for these animals that they normally wouldn’t get.”

Lough said there is no competition between the two species; they eat in two different areas of their habitat. 

For the most part, Lough said the animals get along. One giraffe, Brayden, is still a little uneasy around the zebras. One of the zebras has picked up on that, and from time to time will pester Brayden on purpose and chase him around the yard, Lough said.

In addition to zebras and giraffes, there are storks and cranes in the exhibit.

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