LOOKING BACK - BURCHELL’S ZEBRA – Equus burchelli – Bontkwagga

Magriet Meintjes

TOLWE, South Africa

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Captured The Kruger National park, SOUTH AFRICA
Camera Nikon D50
Lens Sigma 70-300mm DG

Several pattern features distinguish the Burchell’s zebra from the other zebra, the occurrence of “shadow” stripes between the heavy broad stripes on the hindquarters, the absence of the typical ‘grid-iron’ pattern on the top of the hindquarters and the lack of a dewlap.
The patterns on the animals vary considerably and the shadow stripes may be relatively heavy or even, rarely, absent together.
The males are recognised by their necks being thicker than those of the females.
Burchell’s zebra are diurnal animals favouring open woodland and savannah, but avoiding desert and forest. They are very dependent upon readily available water and cannot utilise even optimum grazing conditions if water is not available. They are often found in close association with blue wildebeest. It has been shown that their main predator, the lion has a preference for wildebeest and will take the wildebeest from a mixed herd, an association of distinct advantage for the zebra.
They are gregarious animals, existing in small family groups of rarely more than nine animals, comprising a stallion, with one or more mares and their foals.
Surplus males are ejected from the herd and form bachelor groups.
Their vocalisation is a warming double ‘ee-aa’ or ‘kwa-ha’, or a loud snort. A long snort indicates contentment, fighting male’s voice short sqeals and foals utter long squeals if afraid.
Defence is strong and take the form of kicking and biting. Foals are sometimes kicked to death by a stallion. They will stoutly defend the herd, ganging up on a predator. The zebra’s main enemies are lion and they are also preyed upon by spotted hyaena and hunting dogs. The foals are food for leopards and cheetah.
The Hartmann’s zebra is preyed upon by lions in the limited area where their ranges overlap. The foals are vulnerable to smaller predators, such as leopard and caracal. They produce one, rarely two, active young.
Predominantly grazers but will occasionally browse.
Gestation +/- 360 days
Mass 320kg

Artwork Comments

  • Magriet Meintjes
  • Darlene Lankford
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  • David Clarke
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  • Ken McElroy
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