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Wildlife Wednesdays: Can You Tell a Zebra By Its Stripes? Give It a Try at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

posted on February 15th, 2012 by Matt Hohne, Animal Operations Director, Disney’s Animal Programs


Last Friday, Jennifer Fickley-Baker shared the news on Disney Parks Blog about the changes, scheduled to be completed this fall, on the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These changes will include creating an additional savannah with natural habitats for animals, including zebras.

Given that, we thought it would be fun and informative to take a look at the kind of zebras that guests can see at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Can you tell which kind of zebra is which by its stripes? The answer is yes, but it takes a bit of practice.

Grant’s Zebras at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with the creation of the new habitat, guests will have more of an opportunity to see Grant’s zebras. In the wild, Grant’s zebras can be found on the plains of eastern and southern Africa. This zebra’s stripes are broader than those of other kinds of zebras and extend around the belly and down the legs to the hooves.

Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests also can see Grant’s zebras, but, in addition, they have the opportunity to see Hartmann’s mountain zebras. Native to southern Africa, Hartmann’s mountain zebras have black or dark brown stripes with an off-white, creamy color between them. The stripes on this zebra’s sides do not meet on the belly.

More about those stripes: There are many theories concerning the major function of the stripes on a zebra. Most scientists believe that the zebra’s stripes may serve to break up the outline of the zebra’s body in the herd and provide some camouflage when the zebra is standing in tall grass. And no two individual zebras look exactly alike.

Like zebras, many local species of wildlife are threatened by loss of habitat. Creating natural habitats for the wildlife in your own backyard is a great way to help. You can do this by planting native trees, shrubs and flowers, which serve as food sources and nesting sites for the wildlife near you.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

3 Comments

1

Bradley from NY on February 15th, 2012 at 9:32 am

Oh I know! The top one is a white zebra with black stripes while the bottom one is a black zebra with white stripes!

Unless I got it backwards

2

Jennifer on February 15th, 2012 at 10:54 am

Thank you for this great information. I looked back at my photos and it looks like all the ones I got pictures of at Kidani Village in Oct/Nov were Hartmann’s mountain zebras. Looking forward to expanded zebra viewing in Animal Kingdom next time we visit.

3

Colleen from TX on February 16th, 2012 at 8:44 am

We love staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and thoroughly enjoy the view of the zebras. I find the stripes very calming.

Glad to see all the guests will have more opportunity to see them on the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

3 Comments