The Zagreb Zoo's newest member is now old enough to separate from its mother for periods of time, allowing experts to learn more about it. And so, it's confirmed: the baby zebra is a girl!
Zoo staff, wanting to express gratitude, asked Zagreb's firefighters to become the baby zebra's godfathers - a duty which includes picking out a name. The gratitude wasn't inspired only by firefighters' help during the earthquake and COVID-19 crises, but also for the general care they show to Zagreb's pets and wild animals.
First, zoo staff put out an open call for name suggestions on social media. From thousands of proposals, five final options were selected for firefighters (who are extra-busy these days given the challenges Zagreb and the entire country face) to choose from. The top five names were: Iskra, Nada, Prugica, Flora and Kora. Among other suggestions that didn't make the final cut were, on the more provocative side, names like Corona. The name Alemka was also suggested, in honour of the head of Zagreb's University Hospital for Infectious Diseases 'Dr. Fran Mihaljevic', who is also a member of the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate.
'We've done all kinds of things in life, but we've never been godfathers to an animal. Our commission was arguing all night and in the end, we chose a name that suits our profession' said Zagreb Fire Department head Siniša Jembrih. 'Iskra', the baby zebra's new name, means 'spark' in Croatian. Firefighters have already visited their new godchild, and promised to return with a gift when the COVID-19 crises ends.
The little striped ball of fun is developing fantastically. Iskra is breastfeeding, eating grass and - growing more and more playful and curious by the day.
The Zagreb Zoo isn't currently accepting visitors due to the pandemic, but is continuing to take the best care of its animals, as well as providing educational content about wildlife online.