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.
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.
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.