Valencia, February 24, 2022.- It seems that the animals of BIOPARC have agreed to celebrate the 14th anniversary of the park, because a few days after announcing the birth of the first Mhorr gazelle of the year, the turn has come to one of the most recognizable species of the savannah area, the group of zebras. As usual, “La Niña” was the female who gave the first happy news, giving birth to a beautiful foal whose sex is still unknown. Being an expert parent, it has not been necessary to intervene at any time and, as happened with the delivery, the upbringing is also developing with excellent normality.
Although Grant’s zebra (Equus burchell iboehmi) is the most common species in Africa, it is included in the red list of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and the evolution of its populations is motivating a growing concern for the increase in the degree of threat. In this sense, for the entire BIOPARC team it is a great satisfaction not only to provide maximum well-being to these animals, but also to confirm that the “Valencian” herd continues to consolidate itself as a reference breeding group for this emblematic species. The father is the male Zambé and “the family” is completed with the other two adult females, Bom and Lucy, and the young Filomeno, son of “La Niña”.
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Zebras have aroused enormous curiosity due to their exotic and characteristic black and white fur. The question that arises when contemplating them is if they are white with black stripes or black with white stripes and the correct answer is the second, they are black with white stripes. Logically, the next question is the usefulness of these marks, which are also unique to each individual, like human fingerprints. In this matter, several hypotheses are maintained. On the one hand, it seems that it serves to “defend” themselves, since the labyrinth of stripes that constitutes the herd confuses the predator, complicating the task of choosing prey. Also the identification of each individual would be important since, by presenting unique patterns, they can use them to recognize each other within the group. Finally, they would be equally useful to combat the intense heat, since under each black stripe there is a layer of fat that can heat up about 20º more than the white areas. This difference in temperature throughout its body seems to generate air currents that would have this thermoregulatory function.