May 01, 2013

Z- Zebras, Zorse and Zedonks!

Zebras, the white and black striped equines of the savannas. They are so pretty and so cute with their laugh sounding bugle. There are four main species of zebra. The plains zebra is found in the savannas from Sudan to Northern Zimbabwe and has a population of roughly 750,000. The Grevy’s Zebra is found in Northern Kenya and only has 2,500 individuals in the wild. The Hartmann’s Mountain zebra is found in Namibia and Angola and has a population of 800-1,300. Lastly the Cape Mountain zebra has the smallest population at 600-700 individuals and is located in South Africa.

Grevy's Zebra's_Zebra_Stallion.jpg/250px-Grevy's_Zebra_Stallion.jpg

Cape Mountain Zebra

Much like mustangs and other wild or feral equids, the Zebra lives in herds with a stallion at the head. They graze and travel many miles over the grassy terrain with regular trips to the few watering holes which can often spread disease. The striped pattern of their coat is thought to either blend in with the tall grasses of the plains or prevent the color blind lions from easily seeing them or to be distracting to pursuing predators. The stripes could make it hard to identify one animal to single out.

Hartmanns Mountain Zebra

Plains Zebra

Zebras have been used to cross breed with horses and donkeys for several centuries. Generally the hybrid of Zebroid as these animals are generally called, look more like the non-zebra parents with stripes focused on the legs or neck. Sometimes an animal will have their entire body striped.

Zebras have 32-46 chromosomes while donkeys have 62 and horses have 64. This difference in chromosomes can make it tricky to create a viable hybrid. As such zebroids are not fertile. Most hybrids of zebras have some form of dwarfism noted with larger heads and slightly abnormal proportions. The successful zebroids are generally from the union of a zebra sire to a non-zebra equine. When the opposite occurs for the cross, meaning a zebra dam with a non-zebra equine sire the offspring usually do not make it to adulthood.

The Zedonk
The Zedonk is the correct term for a zebra/donkey cross. I think they are very cute and since the zebra has an almost donkey look anyways this cross doesn’t appear too different. It looks more like the African wild ass.
The Zorse

The Zorse or a Zonny are the terms for zebra/horse or zebra/pony cross. Some have been successful riding partners but the zebroids tend to be more temperamental than their equine purebreds. Zebras alone are also temperamental and reactive being a wild animal they need to utilize their reactive side of the brain for survival. I think as cute as they are I’ll just stick with horses and donkeys but they sure are interesting!

Below are the sites I extracted this information:

I think it's a cute sound!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I would love to have a Zebra just to chill at my farm one day. Maybe I can find one that needs to be rescued :)