ZOO Wroclaw Beza and Borówka

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Beza and Borówka

2020-10-05
Beza and Borówka

New residents

Two Chapman's zebra mares were born this year at the Wrocław zoo. The first one was born in June, the second one at the end of August. They can be seen in the Savannah habitat  with other zebras, giraffes, ostriches and the red hartebeest.

Chapman's zebra herd from Wrocław is a harmonious and close-knit group. It consists of one stallion named Coral and three mares - Bazuka, Bera and Bronia. In the wild, this species lives in family groups, comprised of a stallion, females and their offspring. Interestingly, such harems tend to stick together for life.

Foals of this species are born at the Wrocław zoo almost every year. The two females born this year were given names beginning with the letter "B", like their mothers. Beza (born on June 12, 20) is Bera's daughter, and Borówka (born on August 25, 20) is Bazuka's.

The zebra is one of the symbols of Africa, although not everyone knows that currently there are 3 species and 8 subspecies of the zebra. Two or three years ago, it was still believed that they could be classified as the species of least concern. However, field studies have shown that all populations have declined. As a consequence, their IUCN category has changed to vulnerable.

The Chapman's Zebra (Equus quagga chapmani), named after its discoverer James Chapman, is a subspecies of the plains zebra. In the wild, it is found in south-eastern Africa. Males stand at 130 cm and weigh up to 360 kg, and females stand as tall as the males and reach a maximum weight of 320 kg.

All zebras have a black body with white stripes, and the differences between species and subspecies are subtle but noticeable. They usually concern the arrangement and color of the stripes. Chapman's zebras have not only black and white stripes, but also some brown ones. They have stripes on their legs almost to the hooves. Like in other zebras, their mane is also striped.

Chapman's zebras are very social animals. They live in herds that may count tens of thousands of individuals. The large herd consists of closed family groups called harems. They rarely shows aggressive behavior towards individuals of their own or other species.

Pregnancy duration is 12 months. The newborns are on their feet within an hour after birth and are ready to follow their mothers. Foals have brown stripes that darken with age. In nature, zebras live  on average 25 years, in captivity more than 35 years.

Adult zebras can run at 56 kilometers per hour. They have acute eyesight and hearing- their primary defense mechanisms. Zebra's main natural enemy is the lion. Also crocodiles catch zebras when they are crossing rivers.

Like other subspecies of the plains zebra, the Chapman's zebra migrates seasonally to follow food - mostly grass, twigs, and leaves. It does not like food competition, but sometimes joins other animals of the African savannah, such as giraffes, ostriches and hartebeests, creating huge herds. However, when it returns to its original feeding grounds during the rainy season, it splits up into the family groups.

The main threat to this species is the development of agriculture and poaching. In order to stop the downward trend in the populations' numbers, more and more often protective measures are taken in the place of their occurrence. Networks of breeding programs have been established around the world as well.

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