Africa is home to an abundance of unique and majestic animals, it is with little wonder that wildlife enthusiasts from across the world visit Africa to experience and enjoy these phenomenal creatures. The Plain Zebra – our black & white wonder – being one of them.
One of the most iconic and popular of these creatures is the Zebra, these striped horse like creatures live in large herds, and within these herds, they tend to stay together in smaller family groups which comprise of a male, several females and their young, and this is known as a Harem.
There are 3 Species of Zebra:
- Grey’s Zebra
- Mountain Zebra
- Plains Zebra
The latter of the 3, the Plains Zebra, is by far the most prolific, and fortunately, one of the many species that could be seen at Hella Hella Adventure Centre.
Who Knew? 5 Amazing Zebra Facts
ZEBRAS ARE WILD ANIMALS THAT CANNOT BE DOMESTICATED
Ever wonder why zebras have never been used by humans in the way that horses and donkeys have? Well, it’s not for lack of trying. According to writer Francis Galton, the Dutch Boers, among others, tried and failed to tame zebras to be used in transportation. The personality and character of the zebra is to blame: the animals frequently escaped their enclosures, and thwarted the training of their masters. This ‘untrainable’ behavior may be the result of evolution: since zebras naturally live in large groups in an environment full of predators, their strong survival instinct makes them considerably less friendly to humans than their horse and donkey cousins.
A GROUP OF ZEBRAS IS CALLED A ‘DAZZLE’
Owing primarily to their distinctive striped coats, a group of zebra is called a ‘dazzle’. This name also refers to a unique phenomenon called “motion dazzle”, an optical illusion that occurs when groups of zebra move quickly together. According to researchers, motion dazzle has a big benefits for zebras: the visual illusions caused by the stripes and moving zebras confuse the visual fields of other mammals, including predators, increasing the chances for zebras to escape. The black and white stripes can also ward off horse flies since the high contrast patterns make zebras a less attractive target to insects.
ZEBRAS CAN TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES
Zebra, like many other large African herbivores, are constantly on the move in search of water and food. In East Africa, zebras are part of the “Great Migration”, an annual occurrence where millions of zebra, wildebeest and other antelope travel on a 500 mile circuit in Tanzania and Kenya, across the Serengeti, Maasai Mara and Ngorongoro Crater. In Southern Africa, researchers have tracked zebras traveling even further: 300 miles on a straight line across Namibia and Botswana. While this is shorter than the overall Great Migration circuit, it is longer in one single direction, making it the longest migration among all African mammals—an impressive feat!
ZEBRAS ARE BLACK ANIMALS WITH WHITE STRIPES
It’s an age old question: are zebras white animals with black stripes? Or black animals with white stripes? For many years, scientists believed it to be the former (since many zebras have white underbellies), but cutting-edge genetic research has finally put the argument to rest: zebras are black animals with white stripes.
EACH ZEBRA HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE STRIPE PATTERN
Each Zebra has its own unique pattern of distinctive stripes, just as humans have their own unique pattern of fingerprints. No two sets of stripes—or fingerprints—are exactly the same. Zebras may even use stripe patterns to help them recognize different individuals.
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