Zebra Watch

» Posted on Oct 26, 2007 in Blog | 2 comments

Zebra Watch

Some 1000 feet below the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy on the vast plains of the Laikipia plateau, this very unusual Zebra was photographed by our friend Jane McKeand.

Zebra hybrid

It may look regular to the untrained eye, but on closer examination all agree: this appears to be a cross between the two subspecies of Zebra: the smaller common or Burchell’s Zebra and the much larger Grevy’s Zebra.

If so, this is a significant first! Although the herds of both subspecies are sometimes seen together, no one here remembers ever having seen a cross. Although the scientists have always insisted that it is possible for all equines to mate, the two very distinctly different kinds of Zebra did not like one-another’s stripes, if you will. “Social preference” it was called.

They preferred to keep their relations within their own specific kind.

The Zebra pictured here appears to be pregnant. If so it would mean that the result of this cross is not sterile (as would be the case mule) as one may have expected. We are keeping a keen eye and welcome any further observations you may have made.

Watch for a detailed report on our Conservancy Members Green Page in December.

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy