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Facts about the beautiful Zebras

This article was first published on ChimpReports

Zebras are some of the wild animals that are lucky to call Uganda home with around 3000 of them in different National Parks.

Zebras are very easy to identify even for people that had never seen them physically. They are part of then Equidae family along with horse and donkeys.

In Uganda you can easily see Zebras in Lake Mburo National Park in their largest herds and also you can go horse riding with the Zebras or biking, others sit watch them feed, play and rest.  One can also find them in Kidepo Valley National Park.

There are specifically three Zebra Species the Grevy’s Zebra, Mountain Zebra and the plains Zebra.

The Grevy’s zebra is an endangered species because of poaching them for their skin. They are the larger that the other zebras at about 3 meters high and 450 kilograms in weight.

The Mountain Zebra come in second in size at around 2.6 meters and weighs around 370 kilograms. And they are also of two kinds the Cape Mountain Zebra found in South Africa and Hartmann’s zebra found in Namibia found in Angola.

The last one is the plain Zebra which is about 1.5 meters in height and weighs around 300 kilograms and they flourish mostly in Uganda.

What do they eat?

Zebras are herbivores meaning that they feed on grasses, herbs, shrubs, and leaves.

Zebras are known for being able to travel over 700 miles in search of food and water. 

In times when there is plenty of food, zebras prefer the fresh and green grass and will rarely opt for herbs and shrubs.

Their biggest disadvantage is because of the fact that the savannah they feed on is also home to their predators.

Zebra strips

I like many others wonder what the exact color the zebra’s skin is.

 Scientific studies show us that the skin of a zebra is black.

Contrast to the Elephants, Buffalos, Lions and other animals in the wild, you can agree that the zebras make quite the fashion statement.

This is majorly because of their stripes.

The stripes serve a bigger purpose than the fashion statement, they help fend off disease-carrying flies and insects.

Some researchers say it is meant to confuse predators by creating some kind of illusion.

The Zebra’s stripes are also important in cooling off the body. 

Most importantly they are used as identification to show uniqueness of every zebra as the strips of a zebra are unique to each and every zebra just like fingerprints are to mountain gorilla. 

Habits of Zebras

Zebras live in groups of 5-20 animals led by a stallion.

Just like any other family, the stallion protects the family group from outside invaders especially the predators as well as the other stallions from different groups.

 The stallion has mating rights with the mares and if they produce male foals then that is more protection for the herd. 

Zebras communicate with each other using both sounds and facial expressions. They use barking sounds and pull their ears back against their heads in instances of danger.

This is a signal for warning each other to get into hiding or form a circle around any injured member in an attempt to ward away the predator. Brilliant right!!

Zebras also push their ears up and push their faces forward in greeting.

 

They can run at a speed of 64 kilometers per hour in a zigzag form.

This is their way of giving the predators a run for their dinner, quite literally. 

 They are incredibly brave and can give a pretty strong back kick.

A good back kick from a zebra can make the King of the jungle a lion reconsider its choices for food.

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Ms Pamela Amia is a Multimedia Journalist, Conservationist and traveler.

amiapamela@gmail.com

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