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  • Writer's pictureRianPelati7

Sunday fun Facts

This post is sponsored by SAASA and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

Fun Facts about Zebra's

Burchell’s Zebra Latin name: Equus quagga burchellii


At first glance, zebras in a herd might all look alike, but their stripe patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints are in man!

When attacked by packs of hyenas or wild dogs a zebra group will huddle together with the foals in the middle while the stallion tries to ward them off!

This Zebra is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra. It is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell.

Common names include the bontequagga , Damaraland zebra, and Zululand

The zebra is a member of equidae , the horse family. There are 10 members of the family, of which the donkey and onager (type of ass) are part.

Zebras are odd toed ungulates they only have one toe on each foot.

There are three species of zebra the Grevy’s zebra, Burchell’s zebra and mountain zebra.

The quagga is extinct.

The Burchell's zebra weighs around 320kg and stands under 1.4m at the shoulder (about 14 hands).

Stripes run vertically across the Burchell zebras neck and flanks, but diagonally across his rump. Lighter chestnut or tan stripes are seen on his rump area.

The Burchell’s zebra has fewer stripes on his body than his country cousin, the Cape mountain zebra.

Black with white stripes? Or white with black stripes? That’s an interesting question when it comes to zebras! If you look at the zebra’s belly and bottom, you’ll notice that they are

white… so, we can say they have black (or brown) stripes on a white body.

The Burchell’s zebra lives in a family group called a herd. The group is made up of one stallion and his mares and their foals.

Younger males who have not yet established herds of their own may be found in groups called ‘bachelor’ herds.

Formerly, the Burchell's zebra range was centered north of the Vaal/Orange river system, extending northwest via southern Botswana to Etosha and the Kaokoveld , and southeast to

Swaziland and KwaZulu Natal. Now extinct in the middle portion, it survives at the northwestern and southeastern ends of the distribution.

Burchell's zebra migrates the longest distance of any terrestrial animal in Africa, traveling 160 miles one way. They migrate from the Chobe River in Namibia to Nxai Pan National Park

in Botswana. Their migration follows a straight north south route almost entirely within the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).

Zebras are grazers and enjoy munching on short grass. They have a close relationship with the wildebeest. Both animals are targeted by predators, so they help each other stay safe.

Wildebeest have good hearing and, coupled with the zebra’s keen eyesight, they warn each other if a predator is lurking nearby.

Did you know that the stripes are actually camouflage for the zebra? We may be able to spot them right across the veld in their stripy ‘PJs’, but for the predators who prey on the

zebra, those stripes can be confusing! Lions are not able to distinguish as many colors as us humans do, so patterns in the grass are more difficult to make out.

When the zebra herd runs at full gallop, it can be near impossible for the lion to pick a prey victim in all those stripes! Markings are unique to each zebra just like a human fingerprint or the patterns on a dog’s nose.

Zebras do not neigh like horses, but make a yipping or barking sound. They also whinny, snort and bray like a donkey. They use various sounds to communicate with their members of the herd. Zebras also use their ears to convey messages. A zebra with his ears facing forward is listening and he is tense. They strengthen family bonds by grooming each other.

Come back next week for more exciting fun facts from SAASA and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary here on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page

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