Birth of a Chapman’s zebra
The African plain located behind the elephant enclosure has a new resident! A young female Chapman's zebra (Equus burchellii) born on May 6th is doing well and can be seen outside with her mother, the other zebras, the impala and blue wildebeest herds, as well as the ostriches.
Chapman's zebras, also called Plains zebras, inhabit savannas and grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. They spend up to 20 hours per day grazing and moving in search of watering points.
Females give birth to a single young after a gestation period of 12 months. The foal nurses for about 6 months but begins feeding on grass by about one month old.
Females form small groups and associate with a stallion who keeps away the other males. The more dominant the stallion is, the more the females have time to feed. As zebras spend up to 20 hours per day to graze, females who associate with the best males eat more and thus are more fit. Small groups of zebras associate to form large herds that include harems as well as bachelor male groups. This complex multi-level social organisation is not usually seen in ungulates. Herds migrate according to season and can travel hundreds of kilometres in search of food.
Plains zebra is the only wild equid who isn't threatened, even if habitat loss and overhunting are resulting in localized declines in some areas of the species' range.