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 I+rsquove got your back +ndash Burchell+rsquos zebra

I’ve got your back – Burchell’s zebra

Artwork Type: Original Piece

Charcoal engraving on board   59 X 78 cm

  A herd of Burchell's (plains) zebra is referred to as 'a dazzle' in Africa. Any artist who paints or draws zebras knows precisely what this means as we become hypnotised by the stripes after many hours of trying to unscramble them! Predators like lions also have the same problem as their colour vision is not the best and the light and dark stripes tend to visually bleed together when the herd is on the move. This makes picking a target quite difficult.

Plains zebras have unique coat patterns and a mother will stand for a long time in front of her newborn foal...imprinting her unique pattern on the foal's mind so it can pick her out from the herd with no problem.

Zebras have a mean kick and very nasty teeth when it comes to self-defence but zebra often use the posture depicted in this charcoal engraving. It helps in two ways with survival....first it is a strong bonding activity but it also brings a double benefit in that it affords a shared 360degree view of surrounding country and predators will find sneaking up on them extremely difficult.

The southern Burchell's zebra has a distinctive shadow brown stripe in the white stripe, a characteristic which diminishes the further north they occur.

Zebras are slowly losing their habitat, mainly because of the spread of agricultural activities. They are also hunted by humans for their skin and so that domestic livestock can have large room for grazing. If these activities are not reigned in, zebras will be lost to South African ecotourism; predator numbers also depend on the availability of prey, and a reduction in zebra numbers will therefore also impact big-5 tourism.


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“My art is of nature,
 for nature

Steve Morvell


Support our conservation efforts with these beautiful products. 20% from every purchase goes directly to conservation in the field where it does the most good. All prints are on world renowned archival canvas with archival inks and UV protective coating.