One may not know or notice, but there are different types of zebras scattered all around the globe. Contrary to what others of us may believe in, that all zebras are black and white striped mammals, period; no other species, no other types. Zebras may be popular as the striped, horse-like but somewhat donkey-sized animal, but their different species isn’t; a normal person doesn’t even know how many types of zebras are there, or if there are any type at all!
Well, normal people, normal as in the ones who doesn’t study about animals whom we call the zoologists, specifically the zebras (zebra-ologists? No, there’s no word like that!), or doesn’t have that much interest about them (wildlife enthusiasts, or National Geographic people) really don’t have an idea about that, right? But, maybe it’s the proper time now that you (even though I know you don’t have that much interest in these striped animals we call zebras) know a little more about the animal we adore for its uniqueness. One doesn’t encounter an animal that is so classical, only used the two universal colors – black and white – for their body; and uses the last letter of the alphabet as the first letter of their species. By the way, we must give thanks to these animals, without them, we have no ‘z is for zebras’ to sing along.
There are actually three types of zebras. And guess what, they are all striped. Well, obviously because that’s the trade mark of their kind. But don’t you know that, even though we see a lot of these amazingly black and white striped animals, some of them, I mean the other types of zebras, are actually extinct. Can you believe that? Zebras, which we, well some of us, thought that will never go into extinction, are actually heading for this dreadful state! I told you, this is the time you know about these striped animals.
The first type of zebra is what the zoologists call the Plains Zebra. We can refer to them as the commoners, given that they can be seen everywhere – from circus acts, zoos, carnivals travelling to and fro and even in television, Animal Planet and National Geographic, specifically. They are the most numerous and this specie of zebra isn’t headed for that dreaded extinction because there are approximately 300, 000 of them, and that is the estimated population of this type of zebra in their natural habitat, the great and vast Savannah of Central and Eastern Africa. Physically speaking, they have shorter heads and ears and look a lot more like a pony than their other relatives in species which I will discuss later on. Their height is 44 inches, and if you measure them up to the withers, 52 inches. Withers is the highest part of a horse’s back, which is lying at the base of the neck above the shoulders, just so you know.
The next type of zebra I will discuss is the Mountain Zebra. Prepare yourself, this type of zebra is considered as endangered. I bet you haven’t seen any Mountain Zebra. Don’t worry, there is always Google, you can look for its picture. Anyway, a mountain zebra’s natural or native habitat is the mountains of the southernmost part of animal-rich Africa. There are approximately only 5, 000 of them in the wild. Compared to a plain zebra, they are much smaller, they stand at just 48 inches up to the withers, and they also have a white belly, unlike the plain zebra which is belly-striped. But, what sets them apart, besides their white belly, from the plain zebra, is that they are striped up to the hooves and they have this amazing flap of the skin called a dewlap on their necks.
And the last, but not the least (literally and figuratively, and statistically not the least, because there are about 15, 000 of them), is the Grevy’s Zebra or the desert zebra – if you are too distracted by the Grevy and it makes you think about gravy and chicken which makes you hungry. They are just threatened, I said the population already but I’ll say it again; 15,000 desert zebras are on the brink of extinction. Grevy’s zebras can be found in northern Kenya, southern Ethiopia and parts of Somalia, which is only three and it’s isolated. But if we do a quick height test on these three types of zebras, desert zebras is the tallest of them all, standing between 54-58 inches at the withers. They also have large heads and ears and have a mule-like appearance. Nothing sets them apart, as a matter of fact. They are just big and looks like a mule, and that distinguishes them apart from the plains and mountains zebra.
Now you’re knowledgeable about the zebras, and their different types, I must congratulate you. Why? Because you are now part of the 3% of the world that knows the different types of zebras! I’m just kidding. The three percent is just a joke. I just don’t know how to close this article. Anyway, it’s best for you, dear reader, or anyone, or all of us, to know and be interested in these animals, not just zebras, even tigers, even though they scare the hell out of me. It pays to be aware about the world and its problems, especially animal problems, because we are an animal. Humans are animals, it’s on your science class, remember? Don’t tell me you don’t remember it! We, humans are just the masters of the animal kingdom, and as masters, we ought to take care and protect them. I hope you get my point.