Game details:

  • Description Zebras are primarily grazers and can subsist on lower-quality vegetation. They are preyed on mainly by lions and typically flee when threatened but also bite and kick.

Zebras’ dazzling stripes make them among the most recognisable mammals. They have been featured in art and stories in Africa and beyond. Historically, they have been highly sought after by exotic animal collectors, but unlike horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated. Stallions can weigh up to 400kg and mares not much less.

Among plains and mountain zebras, the adult females mate only with their harem stallion, while in Grévy’s zebras, mating is more promiscuous. Female zebras have five to ten day long oestrous cycles; physical signs include a swollen, everted (inside out) labia and copious flows of urine and mucus. Among reaching peak oestrous, mares spread-out their legs, lift their tails and open their mouths when in the presence of a male.

Males assess the female’s reproductive state with a curled lip and bared teeth the female will solicit mating by backing in. Gestation is typically around a year. A few days to a month later, mares can return to oestrus. In harem-holding species, oestrus in a female becomes less noticeable to outside males as she gets older, hence competition for older females is virtually non-existent.

Usually, a single foal is born, which is capable of running within an hour of birth. A new born zebra will follow anything that moves, so new mothers prevent other mares from approaching their foals as they become more familiar with the mother’s striping pattern, smell and voice. At a few weeks old, foals begin to graze, but may continue to nurse for eight to thirteen months. Living in an arid environment, Grévy’s zebras have longer nursing intervals and young only begin to drink water three months after birth.

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