Sura came into Jennifer’s life on August 4, 2011. She was training at a cattle ranch along the Central Coast of California at the time and learned about a baby zebra that was abused and abandon in a county about 8 hours south of where she was living. Unsure as to what she was getting herself into, Jennifer agreed to take the zebra, but was asked by his then-current caregiver to keep him away from zoos or reserves, where he could be killed by larger, more aggressive zebras. He arrived in worse shape than Jennifer expected. He was skin and bones, had a halter bolted to his raw face, and he was deeply fearful of people. Jennifer named the zebra “Sura,” which is Swahili for “reserved” or “hidden.” Sura did not really thrive until Jennifer was able to return with him to the family farm in Michigan, where he had plenty of space to roam and grow, far removed from people. He quickly became best friends with the horses and settled into the routine of Charlemagne Farm.
Even today, Sura remains extremely distrustful of people, but Jennifer hopes he will one day learn that humans can be friends, too. He has his own exotic vet, and Jennifer continually seeks out the advice of zookeepers to ensure he is happy and properly cared for.
Sura’s best friends are Gabriel, Rivaldo, Napoleon, Charlie, and Elvis. He loves sugar cubes, rolling in the mud, and playing in the snow. He stays warm at night in the Michigan winters by sleeping under heat lamps.