There’s a zebra on my stoep

  • ZebrainGlenhazel2
Joggers in Glenhazel were greeted by the sight of a zebra grazing the grass when they set out for a morning run on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jun 11, 2020

Residents converged to gape at a zebra and two donkeys enjoying a bite to eat behind the perimeter gate of a vacant plot on Galliot Road.

Ziggy Stripes is a rescue zebra being housed temporarily in Glenhazel after being transported from a farm in northern Pretoria, says Dr Dean Gersun, an ear, nose, and throat specialist and animal lover.

“During lockdown, I heard of a farmer who had no space or feed to care for a zebra in winter,” Gersun told the SA Jewish Report. “He had been abandoned by his mother, and bottle-fed and raised with horses on the farm. He was entirely domesticated, and could not be released into the wild.”

Having grown up with a mother with a passion for looking after abandoned animals, Gersun immediately set out to find a home for Ziggy – or Willem as he was known then. He arranged a wildlife vet to sedate and transport the zebra to Glenhazel to a vacant plot of land fit to accommodate him.

“It’s an uninhabited, one-acre plot with ample grazing space and shelter,” says Gersun. “It’s secured by an electric fence, and has a guard outside.” Ziggy was later joined by two donkeys from a farm near Alberton, whose transport Gersun also arranged.

When the trio was observed by residents this week, Gersun says he was inundated with hate mail accusing him of animal cruelty and behaving unethically. He stresses, however, that the entire arrangement has been made with the approval of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and non-profit organisation Animal Allies.

“It’s all legal,” he says. “We have the permits and have been liaising with SPCA inspectors. Once we have the permits necessary to transport them, we will move them to a sanctuary near Dinokeng or on the Vaal.

“For the moment, though, they are under the supervision of a vet, under cover, and have plenty of grazing.”

The three animals remain thick as thieves for now, and welcome the attention they’re getting.

“Ziggy is more like a dog than a zebra,” says Gersun. “He sleeps inside, plays with kids, and can be fed and patted. I think it’s amazing that we have such an opportunity here in Glenhazel.”

2 Comments

  1. 2 Hannah 12 Jun
    Thankyou so much Mr Gersun for what you are doing for the animals. I think its special and you must be too. Myself and my family are also animal lovers. We have 2 dogs and 7 cats several of which are rescues. Bless you and stay safe.
  2. 1 Juliet Sack 27 Jun
    Truly delightful story in such hard times, all things great and small need care. 

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