PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Zoo is preparing to debut two 1-year-old baby zebras, which came from a breeder in Pennsylvania.
But first, the zoo wants to make the zebras as comfortable as possible in their new environment – so they brought in a special trainer.
Jesse Peters typically trains horses, but he is going to work with the zebras using the same methods he uses for horses.
“We think, act, feel and play like a horse – and that’s the goal,” said Peters. “Once a zebra realizes that we’re not here to hurt them, we’re not gonna do anything bad to them, that we do love them, we wanna bring in language and leadership.”
President and CEO of the zoo Dr. Barbara Baker first brought Peters in to work with their elephants six years ago and has now expanded the training methods throughout the zoo with rhinos, sea lions, polar bears and giraffes. According to Baker, it has been very beneficial.
“What it’s about is building a positive relationship with an animal and what we are about at the Pittsburgh Zoo is doing the very best we can to take care of our animals. This is another way to do that,” Baker said.
The zebras are expected to make their debut on the Fourth of July weekend after the yard of the exhibit is complete.