Last year when me and my husband were lucky enough to go on Safari in Kenya, one of the first animals we saw whilst travelling to our home for the first night was a zebra. We asked our safari driver to stop the car so we could look and take in this animal in it’s natural habitat. Little did we know we’d go on to see hundreds upon hundreds of them over the week we were there. They’re beautiful creatures but unlike some of the other animals we saw, they’re very shy and wouldn’t often be very close to the safari van, even if you stopped for a long time.
Zebras, like all other animals, are so amazing and in this post we’re going to talk all about some facts you may not know about them!
There’s different types and stripes.
Little did I know before looking into this that there’s actually different types of zebra. There’s plains, mountain and Grevy’s zebra. Each has their own stripe pattern with the mountain zebra having vertical stripes on it’s neck and torso but horizontal stripes on their legs.
Not only is there different types but much like a fingerprint, all zebras have their own unique stripe pattern, how crazy is that? The stripes themselves also helps to keep mosquitoes away, as well as acting as a great bug repellent for all the insects that are around.
Fun fact: Zebra’s skin is actually black, meaning they’re black with white stripes, not the other way round.
In the wild.
Zebra are largely hunted by the big cats, so it’s important for them to have good techniques. They actually run in a zig zag pattern when being chased, as this makes it difficult for a predator to run after them!
Another thing that they do when faced with predators is form a semi-circle with their group taking it in turns to attack the predator if they come too close. If one of the family did get hurt, they’ll also circle around them to protect from any further attack.
Small but mighty.
As I noticed when seeing them in the wild, zebras aren’t actually that big. They average between 110 and 150cms. Even though they’re not that tall, they can go at up to 40mph! That’s pretty darn fast.
They have some amazing senses compared to most animals. They’re one of the few mammals that can see in colour (apart from orange). For their ears, they can be rotated in any direction, meaning they can always be on guard for predators! Also completely fun fact, they have one toe on each foot.
The Grevy’s zebra is the rarest of the three species and they are classified as endangered, with possibly less than 2,500 in the wild. In the last 30 years, the population has declines by 54% which is just crazy! The main cause of this was hunting, where zebras were killed for their skins, food and also medicinal purposes. So how can you help?
The African Wildlife Foundation is working hard to protect not only zebras, but also other African animals so we don’t have to live in a world without these beautiful creatures. You can see more about their work and help make a contribution if you’re able here: African Wildlife Foundation.
Love, always – B
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