Zebra is the member of the horse family found in Africa. Due to the peculiar black and white marking on the outer skin, they are often recognized around the globe. Due to the abnormal behavior zebra cannot be truly domesticated by the human beings.
Several attempts for the domestication of the zebras have been failed. They are three species of zebra found in the world and are confined to Africa.
Zebra lives in the heard or in a group under the wild condition. Living in the group enables them to efficiently combat with the natural predators thriving around.
The weight of the male zebra can attend up to 350 kilograms and the length ranges up to 2.6 meters and height can be up to 1.3 meters. The male zebra is comparatively larger than female.
Zebra stripe is the unique stripe and the pattern varies from one individual to another. The zebra stripes are unique like the fingerprints of the human’s beings. The precise cause of the stripe is vague (1). It is generally believed the stripe is the natural defense mechanism especially meant for camouflage.
The life expectancy of the zebra under the wild condition is found to be 25 years. Since Zebra is difficult to domesticate it is difficult to estimate the precise life expectancy in the captive condition.
The Natural predators of the zebra are the lions and the hyenas. Occasionally, the crocodile can hunt the zebra in water bodies.
Female reaches the sexual maturity faster than male. Female reach the sexual maturity at the age of two years and male reach the sexual maturity at six years.
This is the time period of the conception and the delivery of the birth and is around 12 to 13 months. One individual is born. The baby of the zebra is called foal. Parent care is carried out for around a year.
Despite the large body size, they have the noticeable speed of 64 kilometers per hour during the chasing.
Reason for Decline
Anthropogenic factors like excessive hunting for the skin and habitat destruction can be called as the prime cause for the decline in Zebra population. As Zebra competes with livestock for the food resource (2). Retaliation killing by the farmers is often noticed.
1.Morell, Virginia (2015). "A new explanation for zebra stripes". Science. Archived from the original on 2015-01-17. Retrieved on 11 January 2017.
2. Young, T.P.; et al. (2005). "Competition and compensation among cattle, zebras, and elephants in a semi-arid savanna in Laikipia, Kenya" (PDF). Biological Conservation. 121 (2): 350–459.