This Zebra, grazing with her foal, is an opportunity to highlight this oft neglected species. Visitors to the Kruger area are often intently focused on seeing the “Big Five”, sometimes not stopping to absorb how special these stunning animals are.
Zebras are scientifically named Equus quagga ( with this sub-species being Burchell’s zebra ) and have evolved among the Old World horses within the last 4 million years. This common plains zebra can weigh up to 350 kg and on average stands about 1.2 m tall at the shoulders and is usually about 2 to 2.5 m long.
They possess similar traits as horses in that they walk,trot,canter and gallop as well as they suffer from the same diseases that horses do.
Zebras have excellent eyesight and like horses their eyes are on the sides of its head, giving it a wide field of vision.In addition zebras have excellent hearing but have larger, rounder ears than horses; like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras also have an acute sense of smell and taste.
There is a lot to be said about zebra’s which can be found here. Many interesting theories abound about the markings or “stripes” and that information is mostly subjective with the only scientifically supported theory being that the stripes aid in keeping insects,particularly horseflies,away.
There are approximately 50,000 zebra in South Africa with about 75% existing in the Greater Kruger National Park. They are not threatened as a species but if you look at a population of only fifty thousand as being regarded as stable, it is quickly apparent how they could easily become threatened, as they almost only exist in protected areas.