The zebra is the national animal of Botswana. This is because, this animal is relatively harmless thus many Botswana citizens find it easier to associate with it. In Botswana, there are three species of zebra. These are plains zebra, grevy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. Botswana’s national animal is wild, but Wikipedia shows a picture where Lord Rorchschild has domesticated it. Even though the zebra is slow, it has a good stamina which enables it outpace its predators. It is also able to defend itself by using its hind legs to kick and fight off its predators. With its beautiful striped coat and good stamina, the graceful zebra is considered the national animal of Botswana.
When cornered by a predator, they kick and bite the predator in self-defense. There is an estimated 500000 zebras as per the census of 2015 (IUCN Red list of threatened species). The IUCN has also categorized it as near threatened species as they are killed in large number by their predators. The name of Botswana’s national team is known as the zebras, taking it from the name of the zebra thus qualifying it to be called the national animal symbol of Botswana.
Facts about the National Animal of Botswana (Zebra)
- Common name: zebra
- Scientific name: Equus quagga
- Average weight: 450kgs
- Average height: 1-1.5m
- Average lifespan: 20-30 years in wild; 40 years in zoos.
- Habitats: treeless grasslands and savannah woodlands
- Food: Herbivores
- Main predator: Lions, cheetahs, hunting dogs, hyenas.
- Gestation: 13 months
The zebra is covered in black and white strips. There is a folktale that tries to explain this and it associates the creator to the strips. They live in unity near water sources where there is more grass and water. Its image is used on the coat-of-arms of Botswana. The color of Botswana’s flag is stripped black and white in imitation of the color of the zebra. This can be the reason why the zebra is considered the national symbol of Botswana.
Other than being the national animal, the zebra is a great tourist attraction site thus earning Botswana a lot of revenue.
- “The zebra, Botswana’s lovable and graceful national animal”- Mmegionline.
- “The Botswana flag” – world atlas.
- “The zebra” – wildlife conservation.