What Sound Does a Zebra Make?

Sounds a Zebra Makes

If you had to explain what a zebra sounds like, what would you say? Would you say a horse? After all, it looks like a horse with stripes. Or maybe a donkey?

If you said either of these, you’d be partly right but not entirely because a zebra can sound like quite a few different animals. When asked to describe the sounds a zebra makes, people who work with animals for a living describe a lot of different sounds, such as that of a:

  • Braying donkey
  • Yapping dog
  • Snorting horse
  • Squealing pig
  • Growling cat

That’s a lot of very different animal sounds, isn’t it?

Zebras do, in fact, make a few unique sounds that often sound like other animals. Zebras use these sounds, as well as body postures and facial expressions, to communicate with each other.

When wildlife park workers were recently asked to describe the sounds a zebra makes, they had a lot of interesting responses.

Different Zebra Sounds


After studying the three zebra species in Ngorongoro Crater, German zoologist and zebra behaviorist, Hans Klingel attributes six distinct sounds to the zebra.

1. Nicker or Whinny

The nicker or whinny is a breathy, drawn-out grunt indicating satisfaction.

2. Neigh

The neigh is an alarm call to warn the herd of predators.

3. Snort

The snort is produced when a zebra finds itself walking into possibly dangerous underbrush or tall grasses where predators may be hiding.

4. Bray or Bark

The bray or bark sounds like the drawing in and then releasing of air. The zebra makes this sound when encountering other zebras in the herd.

5. Squeal

The squeal is a short, high-pitched sound that an injured zebra makes. It’s often heard when male zebras are aggressive towards each other as they fight to be the dominant stallion in the herd.

6. Wail

The wail is a long and lingering cry made by young zebras in distress.

Zebra Sounds in a Herd


Whenever you see a herd of zebras you’re sure to hear them as well because they’re very talkative.

Although they have a lot to say, zebras use a simple repertoire of sounds. In fact, researchers and modern wildlife experts have recently broken their calls into four main sounds:

  • Bark
  • Bray
  • Snort
  • Nicker

Let’s listen to each of these distinct sounds.


The zebra bark sounds a lot like the high-pitched yappy bark of a little dog – a mixture of a bark and a whimper.


A zebra’s bray is very similar to a donkey’s bray. It starts as a low growling sound and builds into something that sounds like a high squeal.


A zebra’s snort is very similar to a pig’s snort with a grunting sound with a short, sudden burst of air through its nostrils.


The zebra’s nicker is like the snort, but much softer. It’s best described as a very soft horse neigh or snort.

What Does a Baby Zebra Sound Like?

Mother and Child Zebra

Baby zebras sound a lot like their parents except their calls are more high-pitched. Just like a human baby, a zebra foal appears to have a limited vocabulary and makes a small set of zebra noises and sounds. They communicate mostly with very high-pitched barks – which are usually aimed at their mothers.

Each zebra has its own distinct “zebra sound.” This is one of the reasons why a mother zebra keeps her newborn foal away from other zebras until it’s a few days old. She wants the foal to be able to recognize her scent, her call (bray) and her appearance, that is, her stripes.

What Do Zebra Sounds Mean?


Now that we know what they sound like, let’s find out what zebras are actually saying to each other with all this zebra noise.


The zebra bark is a friendly greeting between zebras. It can also be a way one zebra gets the attention of another zebra. It could be referred to as “What’s up?” in zebra talk!


According to The Behavior Guide to African Mammals, “Braying advertises territorial status,” and is often used to express anger or frustration. Additionally, a male zebra uses a loud bray to demonstrate dominance and as part of his courtship behavior towards a female.

Each zebra’s bray has a different pitch, some higher and some lower, so that other members of the herd can recognize each member’s specific call.


The zebra’s snort has several meanings. It can be a way of saying “hello” to another zebra or as a warning of danger or aggression. The best way to tell the zebra’s meaning when it snorts is to look at its body language.


It’s the most special of all the zebra vocalizations because it’s the sound of affection reserved for other members of the herd. Mother zebras can often be heard nickering to their foals.

5 Other Zebra Fun Facts


There are three main species of zebra. Two live on the African plains, one lives in the mountains. Let’s look at several fun facts about these beautiful creatures.

1. What Makes Up a Zebra Family? And a Herd?

Zebra herds, also known as a dazzle of zebras or a zeal of zebras, are usually made up of many smaller family groups who tend to stick together within the herd. A typical family group is made up of five to 20 zebras consisting of a male zebra, several female zebras and their young.

A female zebra is known as a mare and the male, a stallion. Baby zebras are typically called foals, although they are sometimes referred to as cubs. A young female zebra is called a filly and a young male, a colt.

Herds can contain thousands of zebras, especially during their migration to better feeding grounds. They are constantly on the move, foraging for food. Other grazers and browsers often intermingle with the zebra herds, forming mixed herds that travel together.

When families of zebra travel together, they form hierarchies, with one dominant stallion in the lead.

2. What is a Zebroid?

Zebras, horses and donkeys all belong to the Equidae family. Although zebras have never been domesticated, they can be cross-bred with the domesticated members of the horse family creating “zebroids.” Zebroids can be quite beautiful but are almost always sterile.

You probably wonder what the cross between a horse or donkey and a zebra is called. We’ve done a little research and found some interesting names such as zorse, zonkey, zebrass, zedonk, zebradonk, zedonk, zebrinny, and others. Making combinations of your own just might make you a little “zebonkey”. Yep, that’s one too!

3. Are Zebras Colorblind?

Zebras have very good eyesight. It’s thought they can see in color, although some scientists believe they cannot see orange. Because the zebra’s eyes are on the side of their head, they have a wider field of vision than humans.

4. Are All Zebra Stripe Patterns the Same? Are Their Stripes White or Black?

No, each zebra has a unique set of stripes. Just like human fingerprints and snowflakes, no two are alike!

Each species of zebra also exhibits its own general stripe pattern. The plains zebra, for example, has broad stripes. Grevy’s Zebra, also known as the Imperial Zebra, is the largest of the zebra species and has bold, narrow stripes that are vertical on its torso and neck, and horizontal on its legs. The mountain zebra also has vertical stripes on its torso and neck, and horizontal stripes on its legs.

Zebra stripes are used as camouflage as they roam the African plains. From a distance, their stripes cause a herd of zebras to look like grass swaying in the breeze to some predators who often see few colors.

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Does a zebra have black stripes or white? Zebras are black with white stripes. Their main skin color is black.

5. How do Zebras Protect Themselves?

To defend themselves, zebras form a semicircle facing their attacker. They nip, bite and kick at any predators that come too close. If a family member is injured, they’ll surround the injured zebra, protecting it from further attack. A zebra’s kick is a very useful weapon. Their powerful kick contains almost nearly 3,000 pounds of force – enough to kill a fully grown lion with just one blow to the body.

Come See and Hear the Uniqueness of Zebra Stripes and Sounds for Yourself

Two of the three zebra species are in trouble. Because there are only about 2,000 Grevy’s zebra left, the International Union for Conservation of Nature labels them as threatened. The mountain zebras are listed as vulnerable with only around 9,000 remaining. Fortunately, various organizations such as Wild Animal Safari are working to preserve this beautiful creature.

If you didn’t know that zebra stripes were as different as fingerprints, you need to come see them for yourself at one of our parks in Pine Mountain, Georgia; Stafford, Missouri; and Bryan-College Station, Texas.

And when asked what a zebra sounds like…you can decide for yourself whether it sounds like a horse, donkey, pig or yappy dog. Maybe when asked, you’ll remember to tell them, a zebra sounds like…well, a zebra.


What’s the Difference Between a Llama and an Alpaca?

Llamas and alpacas are domesticated members of the camelid family. That makes them camelid cousins to the Bactrian camel and the Dromedary camel, as well as the vicuña and guanaco.

Unlike some animal species, camelids may crossbreed and produce fertile offspring. Wild South American camelids, the vicuña and guanaco, normally don’t mate with their domestic cousins, the llama and alpaca; however, some controlled breeding has taken place. When a llama and alpaca mate, their offspring is called a Huarizo. When an alpaca and a vicuña mate, their offspring is referred to as a Pacovicuna. Because the fur of the Pacovicuna is similar to the vicuña’s soft fleece, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

Differences Between a Llama and an Alpaca?

Infographic for Animal Safari

When you see one of these adorable creatures, do you know which animal you’re looking at? Is it a llama? Or maybe an alpaca? Hhmmm. Are you sure?

The biggest difference between llamas and alpacas is their size and the type of coat each of them has. Llamas grow a coarse wool coat, whereas an alpaca’s hair is longer and finer. Let’s take a look at a lot more of their differences.


When comparing the two animals side by side, it’s easy to tell them apart. The average llama is between 5’ 6” and 5’ 9” tall, making llamas about a foot taller than the average alpaca which measures 36” at the shoulders. A llama typically weighs between 280 and 450 pounds, more than twice the size of the alpaca which weighs between 100 and 175 pounds.

There is no significant difference in size between males and females for either llamas or alpacas.

A baby llama weighs 20 to 35 pounds at birth. The birth weight of a baby alpaca, however, is much smaller – 10 to 17 pounds. Interesting facts about the pregnancy and birth of llamas and alpacas:

  • Gestation periods are very similar despite their size differences – the llama is 342-355 days and the alpaca is 335 to 350 days
  • Baby alpacas and llamas are called “crias” which is Spanish for babies
  • Cria are able to stand, run and nurse between 30 to 60 minutes from birth
  • Multiple births are rare



Another easy way to tell the difference between llamas and alpacas is by comparing their ears.  Llamas have long, banana-shaped ears that stand straight up, making them appear alert. Alpaca ears, on the other hand, tend to be short and pointy.


A llama’s face, like its ears, is long. The alpaca’s face, however, is short and rounded.

We hate to play favorites, but the alpaca is typically cuter than the llama! Alpacas tend to have lots of fur on their face, whereas llamas tend to have less.



Llamas come in various shades of a wide range of solid colors and spotted patterns including white, black, gray, beige, brown and red.

Alpacas, on the other hand, have 22 naturally occurring coat colors ranging from white, black, roan, brown, pinto, fawn, gray, red and rose. When an alpaca’s coat is multicolored, it is often referred to as being “fancy.”


Although they both tend to be gentle creatures, llamas and alpacas have very different personalities.

Llama’s Personality


Llamas are solitary animals and prefer to keep to themselves. Llamas will, however, live peacefully in herds of other animals while also providing protection from predators. They are generally gentle as well as calm. In fact, llamas are often used in petting zoos because of their gentle and docile nature. Their use as therapy animals is increasing as well.

If mishandled, they may hiss, spit, kick or lie down and even refuse to move.

Llamas tend to be especially outspoken and make a variety of vocalizations, including humming sounds. Mother llamas even communicate in a special way with their babies by humming.

Alpaca’s Personality


Alpacas are shy creatures and feel safest when in the middle of an alpaca herd. They communicate with each other using body language and humming sounds.



Although llamas are more likely to express their displeasure, both llamas and alpacas will spit when displeased. Llamas and alpacas spit:

  • When they feel threatened or distressed
  • As they determine pecking order within the herd
  • When fighting over or competing for food

Llamas also spit when they feel an animal they are guarding is being threatened. A male llama may spit to establish his dominance as alpha of the herd. A female alpaca will spit at a male alpaca to show that she’s not interested in his attentions.

Alpacas tend to spit only air. Llamas, on the other hand, may shower you with regurgitated green matter and spit. Yuck!

Because an alpaca is gentle by nature and rarely spits, it’s said that if an alpaca spits at you, you probably deserve it!



Llamas and alpacas have been beneficial to humans for thousands of years. Some scholars believe llama manure helped early humans switch from a hunting and gathering lifestyle to an agricultural way of life.

In the Inca Empire, alpacas, or their ancestors, the vicuña, were valued for their luxurious fleece.

Llamas and alpacas continue to be valuable to humans today. Scientists even believe antibodies taken from the llama could lead to the creation of a universal flu vaccine.

Let’s take a look at all the ways these camelids benefit humans.


Llamas and alpacas both provide fiber; however, alpaca fleece is softer and more luxurious.

Guard Animals


Although llamas often prefer to keep to themselves, they do live peacefully with other animals and even act as guard animals. Due to this behavior, farmers and ranchers worldwide use them to protect livestock.

When a predator approaches the herd, the llama calls an alarm, alerting the herd to the threat. Then it approaches the predator. If the predator doesn’t leave, the llama will chase, kick or paw at it. A llama may kill a predator that refuses to leave. Llamas can be effective against a single dog, coyote or wolf; however, packs of predators may overwhelm a single llama.

Pack Animals


Although a llama is the typical choice, both llamas and alpacas are used as pack animals. Since llamas are larger and stronger, they’re able to carry more weight. In fact, a llama can carry around 75 pounds over a distance of at least 20 miles in a single day. The native people of the Andes Mountains have historically used hundreds of pack llamas, in what is called a pack llama train, to move goods over the area’s challenging terrain.

From being difficult to saddle to lying down and refusing to move, llamas can be temperamental when serving as pack animals. When irritated, they’ll even spit, hiss or kick until the load they’re supposed to carry is lightened.

Llamas are also used for trekking (hiking in the wilderness) to carry supplies and equipment.


Although people in the United States shy away from the idea because it’s foreign to us, people in other countries do raise llama and alpaca for meat and have done so for thousands of years.

Therapy Animals

Llamas make great therapy animals in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.



Llama fleece is very different from alpaca fleece. Llamas sport a coarse wool coat, whereas alpacas have hair that is longer and finer. Unlike lamb’s wool, both llama and alpaca fibers are free of lanolin which provides wool that’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t require harsh chemicals and high temperatures during processing.

Llama Fleece

The llama’s soft undercoat may be used to make garments, but it can’t compete with the luxurious soft fiber of alpaca fleece. The llama’s coarse outer coat is used to make ropes and rugs. Yarn made with llama wool is lightweight and soft, yet remarkably warm and water-repellent.

Baby llama fiber is sometimes used to create a softer product similar to alpaca wool.

Alpaca Fleece

There are two types of alpaca – huacaya (pronounced wakaya) and suri. Huacaya alpacas have fleece that is short, crimpy and dense, growing perpendicular to the skin. Suri, on the other hand, have hair that hangs loose and long, often forming lengthy “dreadlocks.” Ninety-five percent of alpacas worldwide are huacayas.

Alpaca fiber mimics cotton in its ability to wick moisture away from the skin. It can absorb as much as 15% of ambient humidity and remain unchanged. Alpaca wool is warmer, stronger and less itchy than sheep’s wool.



Although llama and alpaca once freely roamed the North American continent, they have since become extinct in North America. Instead, they migrated south and became native to parts of South America, particularly the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia.  Unfortunately, llamas and alpacas are no longer found in the wild.

Although the largest percentage of both llamas and alpacas can be found in South America, they are swiftly gaining popularity in other parts of the world, especially North America, Australia and Europe. One of the main reasons for the expansion of llamas worldwide is that they make great guard animals.


Llamas and alpacas are no longer wild species of camelids and live entirely as domesticated animals. Their wild cousins, however, roam freely in the Andes Mountains of South America. The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is closely related to the llama and is believed to be its early ancestor. The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) is thought to be the wild ancestor of the alpaca.

Until recently, the vicuña was on the endangered species list. Due to preservation efforts, its numbers have increased, and it’s no longer endangered. It is, however, still a protected species.

Humans have raised camelids for at least 6,000 years. That makes them one of the oldest known domestically raised animals in the world! Vicuña were especially valued by the Inca Empire who raised them for their luxurious, soft and fluffy fleece which was referred to as “the fiber of the gods.” In fact, vicuña fiber was so prized, no one but the upper class and nobility could use it to make clothing.

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Vicuña wool is sometimes referred to as the golden fleece even today. For instance, a scarf made of vicuna fiber can retail for as much as $1200! It also comes with papers to prove its country of origin and authenticity.

See Llamas and Alpacas at Wild Animal Safari

A group of alpacas at Wild Animal Safari in Strafford, Missouri. 

You don’t have to go all the way to Machu Picchu to see llamas and alpacas. Wild Animal Safari gives you the opportunity to view them in a natural habitat right here in the United States. Come check them out for yourself at one of our Wild Animal Safari locations in Pine Mountain, GeorgiaStrafford, Missouri; and Bryan-College State, Texas and see if you can see the differences for yourself.

8 Facts you didn’t know about spider monkeys

Each and every time you visit there is a new opportunity to learn about our amazing animal friends. In fact, we bet that every time you drive, walk or ride through you notice something new and learn something new! But you don’t have to wait to visit us to learn cool animal facts! Today we’re going to take a look at the Spider monkey and we are certain you’ll learn something unexpected!


  1. The name “spider monkey” might be a bit frightening, but it shouldn’t be! These guys get their name from the way they look when they are hanging from trees by their tails. 
  2. Spider monkeys have very unique tails that are strong enough to easily support their body weight, but that’s not all. Their tails are sensitive and dexterous enough that they can also pick up small objects with it.


  1. Spider monkeys spend most of their time in the canopy of rain forests, foraging for food. Because they rarely ever even go to the ground, they have adapted to live perfectly in the trees. This makes them very acrobatic, agile and strong.  
  2. Spider monkeys are social animals. They prefer to live in large groups that can have up to 30 members! These large groups are called troops. 
  3. Spider monkeys are diurnal. This means that they are awake during the day and sleep at night. So they spend their days foraging for food, and sleep through the night.When they look for food, they break into smaller groups, but they sleep in large troops for safety.

    6. Spider monkeys are fairly large, especially when you consider how much of their time they spend swinging around treetops and hanging by their tails. They can reach up to 13 pounds and their tails can support this weight with no problem!


  1. Spider monkeys are part of the New World monkeys, and they live in rain forests in Central and South American, occasionally extending into Mexico. 
  2. Spider monkeys have one baby at a time. The mother carries their newborn on her abdomen for around four months as they grow. When they are strong enough, the baby will cling to her back. To do this, they grab on with their arms, and use their tail to grab their mother’s tail. This helps them stay secure as she navigates through the forest canopy.

    Last but not least, spider monkeys have many ways to communicate. They make vocalizations but they also express themselves by making faces! And since they have distinct faces, and may express a range of emotions from curiosity to annoyance, you can imagine how interesting they can be to visit! 

Surviving Winter: How Animals Adapt To The Cold

Winter weather may be a little inconvenient, but it can also be nice. All we have to do is crank up the heat, put on a sweater and sit back and enjoy. Animals don’t quite have it that easy, and have to find ways to cope with winter weather, no matter how bad it may get. While we are always here helping our animals friends at the park stay safe and warm, animals in the wild aren’t as lucky. They have had to find interesting and effective ways to adapt to the cold and survive the winter. 

Today we’re going to look at some of the ways animals have found to cope with inclimate weather.

Migration: Migration is a simple idea that involves leaving cold environments behind for warmer weather. People do this all the time, going on winter trips to warm destinations. For animals, this can be a survival tactic that not only helps them escape cold, but the harsh conditions that go along with winter, like reduced access to food. When animals migrate they wait out the cold and return seasonally, usually near spring time. Lots of animals do this, including fish and even insects!

Hibernation: Hibernating allows animals to reduce their need for resources during winter months when resources are more scarce. This not only allows them to wait out reductions in food and water sources, but avoid being out in harsh weather conditions looking for food. There are different types of hibernation, but it is not just the same as sleeping through the winter. Hibernation is when the metabolism slows down, which greatly reduces their bodily processes and need for calories. So while animals do tend to find a safe spot to hibernate, like a den, they aren’t simply sleeping away in the winter.

Seasonal adaptations: Animals have a remarkable ability to adapt to their environment, which includes seasonal adaptations for the cold. Sometimes this includes changing their appearance to be more suited to the cold weather, but it could include growing thicker fur or adding fat to act as insulation against the cold. A great example of this are animals that turn white to blend in with snow, like some types of hares and weasels.This makes it a lot harder for predators to find and catch them in the winter.  

Even when an animal has less dramatic adaptations, they usually take precautions for the winter before the cold hits. For example, beavers and squirrels will create food caches to hide winter stores. So while they’re not hibernating or changing colors, they are well aware of the scarcity ahead, and work to protect themselves against it. This awareness and preparedness alone is a fascinating adaptation if you ask us!


Which cold-weather adaptation do you find the most amazing? Head over to our page and tell us about it and why!

Wild Animal Safari- Fall Festival!

Wild Animal Safari- Strafford, MO, Wild Animal Safari- Pine Mountain, GA, and Aggieland Safari in Bryan, TX, had their annual Fall Festivals this last weekend! The turnout was fantastic, with families visiting the park for the multiple seasonal activities and the animals, of course!


Wild Animal Safari- Strafford,

had some great activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered corn hole, pumpkin decorating, face painting, a pumpkin slingshot, and even a bounce house for kids who came to the park! To top it off they had free candy for everyone and fall treats that were available for purchase. They also hosted a “Cat Attack”, where their white tiger Draco, destroyed a giant paper mache Frankenstein! Including the Fall Festival, this was also Wild Animal Safari- Strafford’s first year hosting a corn maze and pumpkin patch. The corn maze was made so that from above you could see a perfect tiger face in the center of the maze!




Wild Animal Safari- Pine Mountain,

also had some great experiences and activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered carnival games, pumpkin decorating, face painting, pumpkin bowling, and even a bounce house for kids who came to the park! To top it off they had free candy for everyone and fall treats that were available for purchase. Families and friends got to enjoy Dippin’ Dots, pretzels, popcorn, and cotton candy! They also had live animals like a snake, a hedgehog, and more for everyone to see up close, and even pet. Kids dressed in a Halloween costume were also offered a free cup of animal feed.



Aggieland Safari- Bryan, Texas,

also had some great experiences and activities for everyone who visited the park. They offered pumpkin bowling, zookeeper chats, free candy and an awesome discount for kids who visited the park! Any kid dressed in a Halloween costume were able to receive a $5 discount on their admission to the park! They also held Zookeeper chats on Halloween weekend which is very special to Aggieland Safari. The Zookeeper chats take place when a keeper at the park chooses a specific animal to speak about, and tells fun facts and all of the information they know about the animal! See some great photos below of Aggieland Safari’s Fall Festival.



With all of the animals in the park, it’s easy to understand how every visit is a unique experience. In fact, you never know who you’ll see when you drive or walkthrough. You can, however, always count on seeing some amazing animals each and every time you visit. You can also count on learning some interesting things, including a few facts that might surprise you.  

Here are some of the things you are sure to learn the next time you visit Aggieland Wild Animal Safari.

Parrots and Macaws can be loud!

These guys are beautiful and interesting, but you might be surprised at how loud they can actually be. How loud? The average macaw scream can reach around 100 decibels, To get a feel for how loud that can be, a motorcycle or chainsaw is in a similar range! But they aren’t loud just to be annoying, they are communicative and social animals that just want to chat!

Animals have unique personalities

If you have a pet you know that they have their own personalities, but some people are surprised to find out that this is true of all animals. They all have their own unique characteristics, likes, and dislikes, just like we do. This includes everything from horses and sheep to monkeys, hogs, and otters. They also like to play and have moods, just like us. 

Hippos are huge 

Of course, everyone knows that hippos are big animals, but you only really understand just how big they are when you see them in person! They are one of the largest land animals on the planet, with male hippos reaching up to around 3,200 kg. This is roughly the same weight as a few small cars combined. 

Animals are curious

You might be surprised that the animals you see are often as curious as you are. They might approach you, try to smell you, and figure out what you are. While all animals have their curious sides, some are especially interested in our guests. You’ll see them eagerly approaching cars and trying to get a peek inside. 

Spider monkeys are very acrobatic 

Spider monkeys spend a lot of their time in the canopy of rain forests, foraging for food high in the treetops. To safely and effectively navigate through the trees, they have to be strong and acrobatic. A lot of people are surprised at just how agile they are when they see them in person. You might also not realize that they love fruit and are very social, living in groups up to 30!

Kangaroos are tall

Depending on the species, kangaroos can reach between 4 and nearly 8 feet tall when standing up. This is a surprise for many people who don’t know exactly how tall and big these guys can be. Since they spend a lot of time leaning over and hopping, it is easy to underestimate their height! 

You will also learn that animals can be moody and unpredictable. There are times when they feel like visiting guests, but they also are sometimes sleepy or disinterested. This is one reason it’s good to visit the park a few times, especially during different seasons, so you get the full Aggieland experience!

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There’s no doubt about it, the hippopotamus is an interesting animal. From their impressive size to their tendency to spend so much time in the water, the hippo is always a guest favorite. While everyone knows a hippo when they see them, there are lots of things people don’t know about this amazing semi-aquatic mammal.

1. Hippos are considered to be the second-largest land animal in the world, right after the elephant. A male hippo can actually weigh up to 3,200 kg!

2. To stay cool and keep their skin hydrated, hippos spend most of their time in the water. Because their eyes, nose, and ears are located on top of their head, they can nearly completely emerge their bodies to stay cool and still be aware of their surroundings.

3. Hippos do not have typical sweat glands, their glands actually secrete a reddish oil-like substance that helps protect their skin from drying out. This also acts as a natural sunblock to protect their sensitive skin.

4. Hippos are more active at night when it’s cooler. This is when they forage for food, which is grass and other greenery because they are actually herbivores! They can eat a lot too, downing up to 35kg a day!

5. Hippo teeth are interesting because their canines and incisors grow continuously. This is important because constant chewing on greenery wears them down. These teeth can reach around 20 inches in length and males even use them in fights.

6. Hippos are made to be in the water, with a clear membrane that covers their eyes so they can open them and see while underwater. Their nostrils also close and they can hold their breath for up to five minutes. They even sleep underwater and have a natural reflex that allows them to bop up and sink down without waking up.

7. Hippos live in groups of up to twenty. These groups are called herds and they are led by one dominant male. Only non-breeding males, females, and young hippos are allowed in the same herd.

Last but not least, the name hippopotamus comes from a Greek word that means river or water horse. But don’t be fooled, they are not related to horses, it just is a descriptive term that has stuck! You can see one of these magnificent guys on your next visit, so plan a trip today!


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The kinkajou (Potos flavus), also called a honey bear, is an interesting fellow people look forward to meeting when they visit the wild animal park. While the name may not be familiar, the kinkajou is related to something far more familiar, the raccoon. Today we are going to learn what makes this rain forest mammal so unique.

Physical characteristics

The kinkajou is an intriguing animal, distinguished by its round head, large eyes, and a long prehensile tail. Their tail and extensible tongue make it easy for them to maneuver among tree limbs. Its body length is about twenty-four inches, excluding the tail. They usually do not weigh more than ten pounds and have a soft coat that changes colors based on the season. Their dense fur provides natural protection from rain, heat, and other outdoor elements. They also have short legs, sharp claws and green or yellow eyes. Females tend to be smaller than males but otherwise have similar features.


Ripe fig fruits on the tree.

Officially, the kinkajou is a carnivore, and it has the sharp teeth that go with it. However, they are omnivores and eat leaves, flowers, and fruits, especially figs. They might also eat insects when convenient, and they have long tongues that make it easy to enjoy nectar from flowers.


Tropical tree in the jungle of Cabo Blanco in Nicoya Peninsula, Costa-Rica

The kinkajou is native to Central America and South America, living in tropical rainforests and mountain forests. They tend to congregate in fruit trees and spend a great deal of time in the forest canopy, which they can easily navigate with their prehensile tail. They are nocturnal animals, so people do not often see them in the wild.


The kinkajou is mostly solitary, but they gather at times to socialize, play, and sometimes sleep. They also may gather to forage for food, which they do after dusk. They use their long tail as a fifth hand while climbing. They can be territorial, driving outsiders out of their area with aggressive displays. Scent glands at the corner of their mouths, throats and abdomen help them mark their territory.

Baby kinkajou

The female kinkajou gestation period is up to 118 days and gives birth to a single offspring at a time. Babies start to eat solid food at around eight weeks. They quickly climb and navigate through trees and usually start climbing by themselves in about three months. Female baby kinkajous stay with their mothers for approximately two years, longer than their male counterparts.


Kinkajous are not an endangered species. However, they face threats from poachers who hunt them for fur and meat or exotic pet trade. Because they are exotic animals, a pet kinkajou is not recommended no matter how cute they are! They are most active in the middle of the night, often destructive, and not to mention kinkajou bite is painful.

The kinkajou is quite an exciting animal and fairly striking to see in person with their extra-large eyes and distinct features. Stop by and meet one during your next visit and be sure to tell us all about it on Facebook!

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Springtime might be when the weather warms up, but it is also baby time! What better way to celebrate than to explore the cute, interesting, and amazing world of baby animals! 

Here are some fun facts you may not have known about your favorite baby animals.

Giraffe Calves

Giraffes are named like cattle, with females being called cows, males are called bulls, and babies are called calves. Gestation lasts around 15 months, and calves arrive into the world at about 6 feet tall and up to 150 pounds! Although they look awkward, within about an hour they can stand and walk around. Their little horns are flat when born but stand up within about an hour as well.  They also grow very quickly and will roughly double their size by the time they reach a year old. The entire herd helps raise calves, with mothers taking turns watching over groups of calves.

Kinkajous baby

Kinkajous also called sugar or honey bears, are mammals that live in tropical areas, like rainforests. They are related to raccoons, and gestation lasts 100-120 days. Baby kinkajous are born one or two at a time and are blind for the first week or two of life. They don’t usually eat solid food until they are between 3 to 5 months old. After they are weaned, they start venturing away from their mom more, climbing trees and playing. Baby boys tend to leave when they are around 18 months, but baby girls stay around 2 years.

Hippo baby 

If you’ve ever seen a baby hippo, you know exactly how cute these guys are! They have the same proportions as their adult counterparts, with short legs, barrel chests, and huge mouths, only smaller. Called calves, baby hippos are between 50 and 100 or so pounds when they are born. Mother hippos are pregnant for just eight months and have one baby at a time. Calves live on milk at first, but quickly start eating grass within three to four weeks after birth. It takes five to seven years for a calf to be considered fully mature.

Porcupine baby 

Porcupines might be covered in sharp quills, but they are still quite cute, just as long as you keep your distance! Baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are even more adorable!  Mother porcupines are pregnant for up to 31 weeks, depending on the species. April through May is considered the baby season for porcupines, as this is when most porcupettes are born. It takes porcupettes up to 2.5 years to mature, but most species only stay with their mom through the summer after their birth before venturing out on their own. When they are born, their quills are actually soft, but they harden up over a few days.

Of course, we know that all animals, babies, and adults, are special and amazing. When you visit the park you’ll see all sorts of interesting animal friends, and you never know, maybe you’ll see a baby too if you’re lucky.

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