Stripes, Tails and Trampled Grass
We often see the Burchell’s Zebra wander through at the Nkorho Pan; sometimes just a few, other times a nice sized herd. A few interesting facts about our striped friends – ever wonder why they bunch up in a wad with no form or structure? Because of their unique physical appearance with the stripes, by standing in a group with some facing front, some back, some sideways, from far away or from a hindered point of view, it is difficult to tell them apart. A small thing, but in the eyes of a lion, that second that he hesitates to figure out which one is which could be the second that the zebra gets away. Ever wonder why they lay their heads on each other’s back ends when they are huddled in that confusing wad of stripes? They are a lot smarter than they appear...by laying their heads on each other’s backsides, their heads are in the proximity of each other’s tails as the swish back and forth, thus keeping the flies and bugs away from their faces. Zebras are often found grazing in the same vicinity as wildebeest. Complimentary grazers...the zebra tramples down the higher grasses, making it easier for the wildebeest to get to the shorter grasses that they prefer. The zebra also has an amazing sense of hearing, while the wildebeest’s nose is very adept at smelling predators, once again showing how they benefit each other. At night, while most of the herd dozes, one will stay awake and act as a guard, alarming if anything suspicious is suspected to be nearby. Zebras have a kick powerful enough to kill an hyena, so if you ever come around a corner and find yourself close to a zebra, please make sure you’re not hanging around that part that has the tail...check out the herd that went through recently, one of many animals that stopped by for a drink.