Missouri Park


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.

Animal adaptations for winter weather

Winter in the Ozarks is a serious matter. Not only can it come on quickly, it often lasts for months and comes with plenty of intense cold, snow and icy conditions. For us this can simply mean dressing warmer and cranking up the heat, but have you ever thought about how animals handle the winter?


As uncomfortable as the cold can be, animals are very good at learning how to adapt and survive. Today we are going to look at some of the many adaptations animals have for coping with the cold.


Season specific adaptations: One of the ways animals endure the cold weather is by adding on fat to act as an insulation. This not only keeps them warmer, it can provide extra calories when food is harder to get. Bears are a great example of this, packing on extra pounds before the winter sets in to help them make it through to spring. Additionally, some animals actually change their coats to become more white in preparation for the snow. This makes it hard for predators to see them in the snow. Hare and weasels are common examples of this, but there are other animals that also turn white for winter.


Migration: If you can’t handle the cold, leave it! Migration simply refers to seasonal moving from one area to the other, often in search of less harsh weather and more access to food supplies. When the season changes, they move back and repeat the pattern yearly. This lets them escape the harsh weather and limited food that comes with winter. Many animals, including birds, wildebeests, whales and even some insects!

Hibernating: Hibernation refers to the process in which an animal’s metabolism slows down. This reduces their need for calories, allowing them to survive the winter with limited food and water. This not only protects them when food supplies are low, it means they don’t have to risk harm or expend energy searching for food. There are actually different types of hibernation, and it is important to understand that hibernating is different than just sleeping. Before they hibernate, animals will gain weight, and find a safe place that won’t leave them vulnerable.

Of course, not every animal undergoes a dramatic change for the winter. Some simply prepare by creating caches of food to help them wait out the winter. This protects them from food scarcity, and limits the need to be out in the cold. Beavers and squirrels do this, and it’s an effective tactic. Other animals have simply evolved to be well-suited to survive harsh environments, such as the arctic wolf.

No matter how they do it though, it is pretty amazing that animals can thrive in the winter without the ability to light up a fire or bundle up!

The Interesting World of Reptiles


There is no doubt about it, reptiles are amazing fellows, but they are also really misunderstood. Many people may even consider reptiles scary, without realizing that lizards and tortoises are actually reptiles! Even though there are a lot of myths, and a little fear about these guys, they are still popular among guests to the park.  So today we are going to take a few minutes to talk about reptiles to learn what they are, what they aren’t and why there is no reason to fear these amazing animals!

What is a reptile?

Reptiles are vertebrates, meaning they have a backbone, and most of them are cold-blooded and have scaly, dry skin. Most lay eggs, but not all. Some of the most common reptiles are snakes, turtles and lizards. Unlike amphibians, which have gills, reptiles have lungs. Many people are surprised to find out that turtles are reptiles, because there is a common perception that snakes and lizards are the only reptiles there are. Turtles are also quite visually different from snakes, and even people who are fearful of snakes like turtles. But all of these creatures are reptiles.


Let’s take a closer look at some of these reptiles to understand them better.



There are over 3,000 species of snake and they can be found just about everywhere, except Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, and New Zealand. They come in all sizes and have a striking array of colors and patterns, going from plain to ornate and colorful. Some snakes are venomous, about 600 types worldwide, while most are not. Those that are not venomous may hunt for eggs, small rodents and insects to eat, and some may use constriction to kill their prey. Snakes live in all types of environments, making their homes in rain forests, plains, mountains and just about everywhere in between.




These critters come in all shapes and sizes and are literally found all over the world. In fact, there are over 4,500 different species of lizards, making them one of the most diverse types of reptiles. Within those different species there is a lot of diversity as well. For example, some lizards give birth to live young, while others lay eggs. Some lizards have no legs, while some have four. You’ll find lizards in all types of climates, terrains and environments. Many people even have lizards as pets.



Turtles, which includes tortoises ,are reptiles that may live on the land or in the water. Turtles reside on the land, and tortoises live largely in the water. There are around 356 species  living around the world, and they are found everywhere except Antarctica. You can find them in fresh and saltwater. Even though there are fewer variations, there is still a large degree of differences among turtles. Some are quite small, while some species of sea turtles can reach around 1,500 pounds.


As you can tell, reptiles are diverse and interesting critters. The next time you visit, pay a little extra time to look at the reptiles up close and we’re sure you’ll also see that there is nothing to be feared, only admired!

Read to meet some reptiles in person? Plan your trip today!

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.


Day trip planning tips for summer break

Summer break is here and that means school’s out and it’s time for vacation and family outings. While you’re probably eager to make the most of summer break, it can be a little stressful too. After all, it’s hard to plan outings that make everyone happy and works with everyone’s schedule and budget.

The following tips can help make summer trip planning easier no matter how big your family or the ages of your kids. 

  1. First and foremost, consider the ages and the age ranges among the members of your family. If you have all school-aged children, you’ll have a lot easier time finding an outing that appeals to everyone.

    A few all-age family outings to consider includes:

– Outdoor water park

– Amusement parks

– Museums

– Day camps

-Interactive fun centers, such as discovery centers

Animal themed parks

If you have older children, get them involved in the planning process as well. They can offer ideas, look u information on potential destinations and even help you figure out costs. Making planning a family event is a great way to ease your burden and ensure that everyone gets to do something they want.

  1. Next, you’ll want to create a family calendar. This is a central calendar that you can use to plan everything for the summer months. Include work schedules, doctor appointments, visits from family, and anything else you’re obligated to attend. This is the easiest way to get a snapshot of free days and busy days so you can plan trips without conflicts. You might find it easier to give everyone a different color or to categorize events by color so you can glance at your calendar and quickly see who is doing what.
  2. Budgets are especially important when you’re trying to plan an entire summer’s worth of events. Make it easier on yourself by creating monthly entertainment budgets. Each month’s budget will probably be different if you’re planning on participating in summer camps or want to take a few mini-trips. Looking ahead into what you want to do and setting up budgets beforehand can help you even out costs so you can make it all happen. These budgeting tips can help you navigate family budgets so you can stretch your dollars further.
  1. Don’t underestimate the fun that can be had right in your own backyard. You don’t have to go on expensive, long trips to have a memorable summer! Check out local guides online to find fun things to do in and around your town. And then there are day trips, which give you a bit more adventurous but still far less expensive than traditional summer vacations. 

Summer is supposed to be full of fun and relaxation, but sometimes planning everything can take a bit of the joy away. With these tips, you can more easily create some family memories without going crazy or breaking the budget. And of course, if you’re looking for a fun and interesting all-age trip, we’ve got you covered. Visit this link to start planning your trip today.


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10 Pot Belly Pig Facts

Potbelly pigs are undeniably cute and interesting, but exactly how much do you know about them? Most people have seen them but really don’t know a lot about these interesting guys. There are also plenty of misconceptions about them as well. Today we’re going to talk about some fun facts you’ll want to know before you visit and see a potbelly pig face to face!

  1. Potbelly pigs came from Southeast Asia in the ’80s and were imported to the United States as pets. They are still popular pets, even though many people underestimate their full-grown size.
  2. Like all pigs, potbellied pigs have sensitive skin and they will get sunburned just like we do!
  3. Potbellied pigs are smart and are very trainable. They can be taught to do tricks and respond to commands, just like dogs!
  4. They use their noses for more than just smelling. Their snouts are strong and they use them to push things around, forage and root in the dirt.
  5. Potbellied pigs grow much larger than people often realize. A potbellied pig can grow to be between 80 and 180 or so pounds.
  6. Potbellied pigs are friendly and social animals. They enjoy being in the company of other pigs and people. They also get lonely without the stimulation of friends and family.
  7. Their eyesight is pretty bad, but they have a great sense of smell and have exceptional hearing.
  8. Potbellied pigs can get overweight and if this happens it can actually cause “mechanical blindness”. This is where rolls of fat obscure their eyesight, but it can be reversed with diet and exercise.
  9. Potbellied pigs are surprisingly quick and enjoy running. They can also swim in shallow water.
  10. They only sweat a little bit on their nose, and nowhere else. For this reason, they stick to the shade and enjoy cooling off in the mud. Mud also protects their skin, so it’s a win-win!

Many people keep pot-bellied pigs as pets, but it can be difficult to do so because they do need plenty of room, attention and they do better when they live with other potbellies. They also grow much larger than many people think, which unfortunately leads to a lot of potbellies being surrendered to sanctuaries. So while they are friendly, it might be best to simply say hi on your next visit to Wild Animal Safari.


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6 Things you can learn on your visit

Every trip to the park is a new opportunity to learn interesting things about our animal friends. While you never know who you’ll see as you drive or walkthrough, you can count on seeing some amazing animals, from tigers and foxes to a watusi. You’ll also get an opportunity to see some less common animals, like a miniature zebu and Timber Wolf/Arctic Wolf Hybrid.

As you make your way through the park, you’re sure to learn a lot about the animals you see. Here are a few things you might notice, or be surprised about, on your next trip.

Water buffalo are huge!

Water buffalo can weigh over 1,100 pounds and they can be up to 52 inches tall at the withers. You might not realize how big they really are unless you see one up close. Meeting a water buffalo during your visit can give you a new appreciation for their sheer size and power in a way reading statistics cannot.

Animals have personalities

Many people know that their pets are full of personality, but what they might not realize is that all animals have unique personalities as well. Tigers, giraffes, lemurs, horses, and sheep are just a few of the charismatic animals you can see on your visit. Each one has moods and charms completely unique to them. 

Animals can be curious 

Many of our animal friends are as curious about you as you are about them. They will approach you to get a closer look and even smell you. This is how they learn about the world around them and it shows just how inquisitive they can be. Some of our animal friends are notoriously curious, eager to approach vehicles and get a good peek inside! 

Only males are peacocks

That’s right, the colorful birds you know and love, with the gorgeous colors and elaborate feather displays, are males. Females are officially called peahens, and they are far less colorful in comparison. You can refer to either as a peafowl. Those colorful displays by peacocks are intended to impress and attract mates. 

Spider monkeys are acrobats

Spider monkeys live in rainforests, spending a lot of time in the canopy. They forage from the treetops, primarily eating fruits. They have to be quite agile and acrobatic to navigate their way through the forests. They are also social animals, living in large groups up to 30 strong. 

Lions can be loud 

Everyone has heard a lion’s roar on TV or in the movies, but have you heard it in person? While there is no guarantee you will hear it on your visit if you do you might be surprised at how loud it can be! In fact, it can reach up to around 114 decibels and it can be heard up to five miles away!.  If you happen to hear it, you’ll never forget the experience!

Last but not least, you’ll definitely learn that animals are unpredictable! Sometimes they are sleepy and may not be very interested in having visitors. At other times, they are full of energy and highly curious about the people walking or driving by! That’s why it always pays to visit a few times so you can get the full experience, no matter what moods our animal friends may be in!

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Wolves and Wolf Hybrids

There is something about wolves that people find especially fascinating. From their lonely howls that can be heard for miles and miles, to their intriguing pack behavior, wolves are truly captivating animals. Wolves are also mysterious, which is why guests are so eager to catch a glimpse of our wolf friends during their visit.

How much do you know about wolves? Here are some fun facts about the amazing wolf- see how many you know and can remember during your next visit to the park/

– There is actually debate over how many species of wolf exist. However, it is widely recognized that there are two main species, red and gray, along with various subspecies. For instance, scientists debate where there are 4 or over 20 subspecies in North American alone.

– Wolves vary in size by species, with gray wolves weighing up to 175 pounds while timberwolves tend to top out at around 100 pounds. Like many animals, males tend to be denser and weigh more than females.

– Wolves are carnivores and can eat up to 20 pounds of meat in a single meal. They tend to hunt large hoofed mammals, like moose, deer, and elk. By necessity, they also hunt small game like beavers or hares.

– Wolves are complex and intelligent animals, and most hunt in packs and work together to survive. This makes efficient hunters that can bring down large game and survive when food is scarce.

– Arctic wolves can live their entire lives in freezing weather, above the arctic circle. They have small ears to reduce heat loss, increased fat storage, and inner and outer layers of fur to increase warmth. They tend to have huge territories up to 1,000 miles in range.

– Dogs come from domesticated wolves, sharing most of the same genes and many of the same behavioral traits. For this reason, dogs and wolves can actually breed and produce hybrids.

– Wolves tend to fear humans and shy away from areas that people frequent. This includes trails and campsites that have a lingering human scent.

Wolf hybrids

Wolves and dogs are interfertile, so they can breed between species. It also means that their offspring can breed as well. So unlike some species of hybrids, wolf hybrids are typically not infertile. This is because the genetics are so similar, so a large variety of hybrids are possible. For instance, there can be a wolf-dog hybrid or hybrids between various wolf species.

You can actually see wolf-dog hybrids and timberwolves-arctic wolf hybrids during your next visit to the park. Click here to plan your visit today.

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Plan The Ultimate Spring Break Family Outing

Spring break is just around the corner, and that means a lot of families are going to need some fun ideas for outings. Day trips provide a great alternative since long trips and air travel is a bit less accessible these days. Luckily, for those in the tri-state area, there are many fun ways to get away with the family and create a spring break to remember.

By making Wild Animal Safari your destination, you can enjoy all-ages entertainment and take advantage of some fun stops along the way. After all, the trip is half the fun, right? 

Here are a few tips to help you plan the ultimate spring break trip for the entire family.

Make your visit a full-day experience 
There is no need to rush through your time at the park, pack a lunch, and plan to spend the day or treat yourself to a meal at the cafe. You can walk through and get to know the animals in our walk-about. This is an experience you don’t want to miss because there are exotic animals in this area that can’t roam freely in the drive-thru section. Next, take a guided tour through the drive-through so you can sit back and enjoy the sites! 

Experience the park multiple ways

Make sure you plan to view the park in multiple ways to get the full Wild Animal Safari experience! There is a complete walk-about area full of amazing animals, but you’ll also want to experience the freedom of animals roaming in the drive-thru area. If you’re driving into the area for a long spring break weekend, you might want to let us do the driving for you with the guided bus tour. Please note, the bus isn’t always running so you’ll want to check the schedule.

Play games during your visit

If you have school-aged children, you can help them have a more enriching and entertaining time by playing some games. You can play animal bingo or make a passport from a map of the park and mark off every animal you see. Here are some more fun ideas on ways to elevate your children’s experience at the park. 

Enjoy nearby food and entertaining options 

Our park is a short day trip for many people in the tri-state area, so it’s a great place to spend a long weekend or spring break. While you’re here, you can take advantage of other area attractions. There are world-class eateries, museums, and entertainment options a short drive from the park. In fact, Branson, the entertainment capital of the Midwest, is under an hour away!

Travel might be a bit more restricted at the moment, but that doesn’t need to stand in the way of your family’s spring break plans. We have over 450 animals, on 350 acres just waiting to meet you, so buy your tickets, make your plans and pack your bags!

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