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Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Big Five Safari at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve near Montagu on Route 62 in South Africa.



Meet the Cape Mountain Zebra in Sanbona Game Reserve

In September 2016 a herd of Cape Mountain Zebras were introduced to the South of the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

The Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra) is a subspecies of the Mountain Zebra.

It occurred in the Mountain Region of the Cape Fold Belt and along the Southern portion of the Great Escarpment. They were endemic to the Western Lower Karoo and Little Karoo and can be found up to 2000m above sea level in summer, moving to lower ground during winter.

Although once nearly driven to extinction, the population has now been increased by several conservation methods, and is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

The most distinguishable feature and an esay way to tell if you are looking at a Mountain Zebra or not is the dewlap and big ears. The dewlap of a Cape Mountain Zebra is larger than the other Mountain Species.

The reason for the bigger ears and dewlap is hardly known. It is believed it helps to cool down the body temperature.

The Cape mountain Zebra is the smallest subspecies of zebra.

Adults have a shoulder height of 116 to 128 cm.

Mares having a mass of around 234 kg and stallions weighing around 250–260 kg.

The Cape Mountain Zebra is adepted for life on rugged Mountain terrain.

Their hooves are harder and faster growing than those of the plains zebra, which live on the plains.

The two species are therefore rarley seen in the same habitat.

The Stripes of the Cape Mountain Zebra are narrower and therefore more numerous than the other two zebra species. Exceptionally broader and horizontal stripes are found in the hind area of the Cape Mountain Zebra, lacking the "shadow stripes" seen in the plains zebra. Stripes on the hind legs are broader than those of the front legs, and striping continues all the way down to the hooves. However the dark vertical stripes stop abruptly at the flanks, leaving the belly white.

The Cape Mountain Zebra is most active early morning and from late afternoon to sunset. It generally drinks twice a day, and a daily dustbath is usual.

Another noticeable characteristic of the Cape Mountain Zebra: they are not territorial and populations consist of small groups of two types: breeding groups and bachelor groups.

A breeding herd consists of a mature stallion and up to five mares and their foals.

Stallions that cannot obtain mares associate in less defined bachelor groups.

Once established, breeding groups normally stay together for many years. Foals leave their herds on their own accord at around 22 months of age. Stallions of the Cape Mountain Zebras actually try to prevent them leaving. This behaviour of foals in free-ranging populations could be a mechanism to prevent inbreeding.

Breeding occurs throughout the year with birth peaks in December to February (summer), and a gestation period of 1 year. A single new-born weighs 25 kg, and are weaned off after 10 months.

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