San Diego Zoo ZEBRAS Zebra harem in HD High Definition the best animals wildlife
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Uploaded on Jan 27, 2009
Zebras are African equids best known for their distinctive white and black stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals and can be seen in small harems to large herds. Zebras are generally 2.3 m (8ft) long, stand 1.25-1.5 m (4-5ft) at the shoulder, and weigh around 300kg (660 lbs), although some can grow to more than 410 kg (900 lbs). In addition to their stripes, zebras have erect, mohawk-like manes. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
There are three species of zebra: the Plains Zebra, Grevy's Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. The Plains zebra and the Mountain Zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grevy's zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass while the former two are more horse-like. Nevertheless, DNA and molecular data show that zebras do indeed have monophyletic origins. All three belong to the genus Equus along with other equids. In certain regions of Kenya, Plains zebras and Grevy's zebras coexist.
The unique stripes and behaviors of zebras make these among the most familiar animals to people. They can be found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have severely impacted zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grevy's zebra and the Mountain zebra are endangered. While Plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, went extinct in the late nineteenth century.
The name "zebra" comes from the Old Portuguese word zevra which means "wild ass". The pronunciation is /ˈzɛbrə/ ZEB-rə internationally, or /ˈziːbrə/ ZEE-brə in North America.
Lord Rothschild with his famed zebra carriage (Equus burchelli), which he frequently drove through London.
Attempts have been made to train zebras for riding since they have better resistance than horses to African diseases. However most of these attempts failed, due to the zebra's more unpredictable nature and tendency to panic under stress. For this reason, zebra-mules or zebroids (crosses between any species of zebra and a horse, pony, donkey or ass) are preferred over pure-bred zebras.
In England, the zoological collector Lord Rothschild frequently used zebras to draw a carriage. In 1907, Rosendo Ribeiro, the first doctor in Nairobi, Kenya, used a riding zebra for house-calls. In the mid 1800s Governor George Grey imported zebras to New Zealand from his previous posting in South Africa, and used them to pull his carriage on his privately owned Kawau Island.
A tamed zebra being ridden in East Africa
Captain Horace Hayes, in "Points of the Horse" (circa 1893) compared the usefulness of different zebra species. In 1891, Hayes broke a mature, intact Mountain Zebra stallion to ride in two days time, and the animal was quiet enough for his wife to ride and be photographed upon. He found the Burchell's zebra easy to break in and considered it ideal for domestication, as it was immune to the bite of the tsetse fly. He considered the quagga well-suited to domestication due to being easy to train to saddle and harness.
Modern man has had great impact on the zebra population. Zebras were, and still are, hunted mainly for their skins. The Cape mountain zebra was hunted to near extinction with less than 100 individuals by the 1930s. However the population has increased to about 700 due to conservation efforts. Both Mountain zebra subspecies are currently protected in national parks but are still endangered.
The Grevy's zebra is also endangered. Hunting and competition from livestock have greatly decreased their population. Because of the population's small size, environmental hazards, such as drought, are capable of easily affecting the entire species. Plains zebras are much more numerous and have a healthy population. Nevertheless they too are threatened by hunting and habitat change from farming. One subspecies, the quagga, is now extinct.
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