Why Do Zebra’s Migrate?

Why Do Zebra’s Migrate?

Domesticated animals aside, the zebra is perhaps the most recognizable animal for any human being. Its unique stripes are a dead giveaway and their docile behavior despite being in the wild earns them affection from people. They also like to move around in groups.

This movement has been observed by scientists as similar to their domesticated cousin, the horse. This is not surprising since they both belong to the Equid family. Equids are grazers and they hardly stay in one place to feed. Zebras will travel long and harsh terrain just to forage and graze for their food.

One of their unique behaviors is migration which baffled scientists in the beginning. Zebras are not the only species known to do this and experts delved further into the mystery for this action.

Migration is defined as moving out to one place without the intention of staying or transience. The first conclusion scientists worked on was zebras were driven to move by the lure of a greener pasture to graze on. This was true except that despite having more food and water zebras still moved to other locations until they came full circle and returned to their original grazing spots.

Then they discovered that zebras were deeply attuned to their environment and the changes of seasons. In the African safari where they are most heavily concentrated, long spells of dry and wet seasons are not uncommon and animals there have an acute sense of weather patterns which are crucial to their survival. Flooding and drought often dictates where the next migration will occur as herds of zebras and other wandering animals rush to where they can find food and shelter.

Migration is a way of life for zebras and other wildlife that are dependent on their environment for survival. Even predators like lions and hyenas follow the migration trail as it is their way of life out there in the wild.

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