Safari Highlights: The Zebras

I think I took Zebras for granted the first time I went on safari.  There were so many of them, I didn’t notice how unique and beautiful each one was.  I was more excited about spotting, you guessed it…the Big Cats.

This time around, I took the time to study and appreciate them, and learned a few fun facts.  I’ve shared a few of my favorite zebra shots and facts below.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

A Cautious Zebra Foal

First off, Zebras are part of the horse family.  Maybe you already knew this, but it was a surprise to me!

For whatever reason, the baby animals are my favorites!  Baby zebras take 11-12 months to gestate.  They are able to stand almost immediately after birth, walk within 15 minutes, and run within the hour.  Their coloring is beautiful, and includes quite a bit of beautiful brown (almost red).  These colors begin to change to more black and white around 4 months of age.  Also, take note of their lovely stripes.  They are vertical on the sides, but horizontal in the back.  I never noticed that before.

Something spooked this mom and foal and off they went.  Of course, this didn’t surprise me, as I’ve always thought zebras were skittish.  I learned, however, that they can be quite courageous and are not afraid to attack their predators.  My respect for them has grown.

Zebras are also highly adaptable and thrive in their surroundings.  If you ever get the chance, take a moment to just sit and observe the them.

I especially loved to watch their interaction and grooming habits.  Apparently they use their teeth and lips to nibble their partner’s shoulders, necks, and backs.  This helps them to bond as well as establish their social status within their families.

The infant mortality rate, sadly, is about 50%, mostly due to predators like the lion and spotted hyena.  However, if they make it to adulthood, their survival rates are significantly higher.  Ok…that’s where I stop today.

 

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