We found this small harem around a small lake/waterhole in Manyaleti reserve. Zebras typically live in herds (other collective nouns for a group include: a dazzle, or a cohort) of up to 30. Their eyesight is excellent, as is their night vision and hearing. They whinny or bark if danger approaches.
They are also notoriously cranky animals (one good reason why they have never been successfully domesticated) so you often see them scrapping with other zebra in the harem - and they are rough with each other.
A typical zebra behaviour we noticed was that they love resting their heads in the dip of their neighbour's back - so it looks as though they are snuggling but I suspect it's because doing it gives them a better visual advantage in case danger approaches. The birds are oxpeckers which crawl over the animal and remove ticks and other bugs from the hide. Zebras (and giraffe and elephant and lion) put up with this invasion of personal space for good reason. The oxpeckers serve a very healthy cleansing role in the animal kingdom.
(I needed an oxpecker the other night when we discovered a tick buried in my shoulder - a gentle tug with some tweezers did the job - but an oxpecker went hungry...).
|Almost perfect symmetry. Natalie's clean shot of two female zebras. |
(Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 + 2x Extender at 400mm.)
|Another typically symmetrical shot|
|Wider shot of the dazzle showing typical stances resting heads on backs. It was almost as if they have been specifically posed for the shot.|