Zebra, Botswana’s national animal, are distinguished by their black and white stripes which flow all over its body, which are all unique to each individual zebra. A long, erect mane extends from the zebra’s shoulders to the top of its head.
Zebra are widely distributed throughout the northern parts of Botswana, western and south to the Aha hills; Okavango delta and south to the Kwebe Hills. It is also found in the Makgadikgadi and east to Zimbabwean border.
Zebra associate in family herds with adult stallions, mares and their foals; other stallion form bachelor herds or roam alone. A family unit usually consists of around 4 to 6 individual.
A zebra’s call is described as sounding like a bark making a ‘kwa-ha-ha’ sound which was also the call of the extinct Quagga which is how it got its name.
Zebras are herbivores and can be seen grazing in large grassland areas.
|Setswana name: Pitse ya naga
Scientific name: Equus burchellii
|Shoulder height: 1,3m
|Identification pointers: Stocky and horse-like; black and white stripes with shadow stripes superimposed on white stripes; stripes extend on to underparts; lacks dewlap on throat.
Zebra’s gestation period is approximately 375 days and they give birth to young (normally in the summer months) weighing 30-35 kg.
Although there has been many theories as to the reason for the zebra stripe the most plausible one is that they are a defense mechanism used to confuse prey coming behid them as well as used for individual identification.
Each zebra has a different stripe pattern.
Their collective name is a dazzle of zebras.