This Zebra is Walking in the Wrong Direction

Apr 22 2015

This video clip oozes with the element of surprise, not just from the zebra, but the lions too. “The zebra was probably aware that there were lions in the area” says Steven Oosthuisen, Wilderness Trails Ranger (Olifants Trail) and continues, “But was unsure where they were.” And looking at the lions’ reaction only one young male was waiting for the zebra. Unfortunately though he broke cover too early and zebras have the ability to accelerate very fast. We find out more from Steven regarding the nature of zebras…



TB: I assume the lions were not hungry as they did not give chase on the zebra?
SO: Lions are opportunists and therefore the interesting thing is that they do not need to be hungry in order to exploit a situation.

TB: What type of zebra is found in the Kruger?
SO: There are 3 different species of zebra and several subspecies. The only subspecies in the Kruger National Park are the Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga butchellii), which is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra.

TB: Is it common for zebras to be solitary?
SO: In this video it is very difficult to say whether this zebra was completely alone. There could possibly be more zebras out of site. However often young stallions are literally kicked out of groups or harems. And have to compete to become harem stallions. Often these males wonder between groups challenging other males.

TB: Where are you most likely to find zebras, and what terrain do they prefer?
SO: Zebras in the Kruger can be found in most vegetation types. They are however more prolific in open grassland and savannah woodlands.
They are predominately grazers feeding up to 90% on grass preferring but not dependent on young grass shoots. Because they are hind gut fermenters (single stomach - caeco colic) they can digest and assimilate large amounts of forage in a 24 hour period.  

TB: How do zebras communicate with each other?
SO: They have about 6 different vocalizations. And a number of visual communications very similar to horses such as ears back etc. When threatened they make a two syllable alarm call - a loud snort and a more drawn out snort when predators are in sight.

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