Burchell’s Zebra ( Equus burchelli) Afrikaans-Bontsebra
On Gondwana we have a large number of Burchell’s zebra and it’s always pleasant to see them roaming on the reserve. There are days when they roam close to the lodge while grazing and in summer they like the shade created by the Bush villa’s. It is quite humorous to witness them all crammed up, close together enjoying the little bits of shade.
In the wild zebra’s stay close together as their stripes create an optical illusion which confuses predators and prevents them from being able to single them out individually. So therefore, Safety in Numbers. If they are threatened by predators,they herd together in bunches at a top speed of 55km/h.
The name “Quagga” was derived from the alarm call sound that zebra’s make, which is a high-pitched repeated syllable ‘kwa-hi’.
When males fight for breeding rights that they bite each other violently. If a male does not have any females to breed with they would join bachelor herds which have a hierarchy based on age.
Zebra’s have strong social bonds and they maintain it through mutual grooming. Submission is communicated by lowering of the head and holding the ears backwards while making chewing movements with their mouths. Dominance and threats are communicated by holding the head high with ears turned forwards and back and they show their teeth and start chasing each other.
By Field Guide, Eugene Janse Van Rensburg.