Did you know there are two types of zebras at Animal Kingdom lodge? I suppose you could say three if you want to count the wildly popular Zebra Domes available at Boma and Mara, but I meant the four legged kind.
The more common of the two is the Grant’s Zebras, sometimes called Plains Zebras, and these are the ones you will most often find at zoos around the United States. Grant’s zebras have wide, black stripes on white, including all the way down to their hooves and across their bellies. (Although some insist it is white stripes on black, I guess I will leave that up to you to decide). Grant’s zebras are found in the wild mostly on the grasslands of eastern and southern Africa. Grant’s zebras typically live in a family group of either one stallion with his 5 or 6 mares, or a younger mixed herd up to 17 animals. For a variety of reasons at Animal Kingdom Lodge there is a lot of planning that goes into who lives on each savanna based on temperament, whether or not the animal will be bred, as well as health issues. This applies to all the residents on the savannas, not just the zebras, and like humans, each resident is an individual, and those needs also need to be taken into consideration. Grant’s Zebras are in a managed breeding program so they do not take up all the zoo space.
The second species found at Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra. The first one born at Walt Disney World was on March 8, 2008 and he was named Kidani (yes like the Disney Vacation Club Villas property at Animal Kingdom Lodge).
Disney works in conjunction with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Populations Management Program and other institutions to form population programs to better manage species in captivity; in fact one of Disney’s animal keepers is in the charge of the breeding program for the Hartmann’s Zebras nationwide. Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra’s black or dark brown stripes are much thinner than the white ones, some of the coloring on their muzzles is more a dark brown, and there are no stripes on their bellies. As the name might give away they are found in hot, dry, mountainous or at least hilly areas of Namibia and S. Africa out in the wild. The Hartmann’a Zebras form smaller family groups than the Grant’s Zebras and do not gather into herds like many of the plains zebras.
The zebra’s overall do like to dominate, but are not mean, and will run and play with smaller animals. The Grant’s zebras tend to be more social towards other animals, while the Hartmann’s tend to stay more to themselves, although have quite a playful nature.
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