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post #51 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 11:38 AM
Green Broke
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Thanks for that zebraowner! I always heard they were unable to domesticate, so this post had me scratching my head a bit! I suppose it's really no different then lions and such - you often see pictures of people who have successfully integrated them into being a "pet", and yet you just can't ever know for sure when or if they'll turn on you.

Haha, I don't know if anyone listens to Chris Rock, but he does this awesome bit about Siegfried and Roy - "Everyone want to be mad at the tiger, keep saying the tiger went crazy! That tiger didn't go crazy, that tiger went TIGER!"

I can see the allure in owning one though, absolutely stunning!
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post #52 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 12:39 PM
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You are very welcome. Here is a couple photos of my stallion "Zorro".
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post #53 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 02:27 PM
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Here's my story:

When I was in my early teens my mom's friend bought a zebra. There was a breeder in the mid-west somewhere, I'm thinking Nebraska or somewhere around there. This particular place, I won't say all because I don't know, took the babies from their mommies @ 2 weeks old and sold them. They had to be bottle fed until they were weaned. So they loaded him up @ 2 weeks old in the back of a box truck loaded with lots of straw and hauled him back to California. They decided to keep him a stud and get a filly, I assume to breed them.

About a year later the same routine. This time the filly didn't do so well. She wouldn't nurse from the bottle and by the time they got home to California she was very weak. My mom's mare had just weaned her foal so they brought the baby zebra over and my mom's mare was more than willing to be an adoptive mommy to this strange looking baby, but it was a baby and she loved them all. The zebra wouldn't nurse at first, so I camped out in the barn for a while, getting up every couple hours at night, or when it started making the funny zebra sound, to bottle feed it. The only way we could get it to nurse off the bottle was to put it between our legs sticking out the back - was pretty funny. She would nurse off the mare a little bit, then eventually caught on. Once they decided she was healthy enough they took her home. She ended up passing away.

The stud however, used to play and have fun with the woman. He got older and got put in a pen and got more and more aggressive. One day she went out to the barn and he grabbed her leg underneath the gate of the pen and started dragging her under. Her ankle was broken and the zebra ended up getting throw out back in a little pen and left... my mom says she never heard anything about him after that, so she assumes he died, got put down or otherwise.

My opinion from my experience... zebras don't have a place being "ours." They are a wild animal. We don't have the right to separate them from their mothers so early just to make money. And lastly, irresponsible owners don't have a place to own any animals, especially a wild animal that would require so much more responsibility.

It's really heartbreaking. You can imagine how I felt when I found out that the filly died after taking care of her personally. Quite the story for a young kid from a small town in Cali! "I played mommy to a zebra!!!"

PS My mom has pictures somewhere, I will try to get her to send them to me.
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post #54 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 03:01 PM
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That's a sad story but not surprising to me though. A bottle raised colt grows up to be bad news. They have no fear or respect of humans and when they reach maturity they will try to dominate you, and that translates to attacks of some kind or the other.
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post #55 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 08:02 PM
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I see zebraowner and Shawneen's points, but at the same time: Yes, zebras may be difficult to train at this point, but it is just silly to draw comparisons to horses, who have been domesticated and exposed to humans for thousands of years. There is no fundamental difference between horses and zebras, no biological reason why the zebra as a species couldn't eventually become as rideable and trust-able as the horse. The Przewalski's horse illustrates my point quite well: it's more closely related to the domestic horse than to zebras, yet it displays "wild" behaviors (even when hand-raised) similar to those of a zebra. This is because, like the zebra, it has had limited, recent exposure to domestication. It has not had as much time without the influence of natural selection (selecting in this case for horses with aggressive and flighty natures). Those of you who have said things like "they are wild and should be left that way" - if our ancestors had followed your advice, we wouldn't have cats, dogs, or the horses we all ride and love so much.

Whoa, that turned into a long post.

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post #56 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 08:37 PM
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Wow what an interesting thread...and interesting to learn about the zebras. I do know they are not good for domestication though, and it's nice to see the reality shine through in here. All too often people think ooh pretty, I want one, with disasterous results. That happens even with horses which ARE domesticated, and I always tell people that want to breed b/c it would be so great to have my very own baby foal that I can raise just the way I want since its born....that buying is WAY easier than raising a foal. And I speak from experience - as my colt now just over a week old, and not the first baby I've handled - is a handful. He was prone to temper tantrums and kicking and throwing himself down that resulted in a few episodes of the old sit on the baby tactic...the third time it took over an hour before he dedided to stop kicking and fighting. End result is he's very well mannered now and much more willing to accept handling and learned that people are boss, but they are nice too (he gets TONS of scratches and praise for good behavior and is VERY friendly and loves people). But again there had to be a line drawn that people do not = herd mates. He's doing great, but it's been 3 days since the baby "sitting" incident and I have to tell you I'm STILL sore from being kicked by a thrashing hundred something pound Oldenburg colt! I can't IMAGINE trying to raise a wild Zebra!

Awesome pics from the Zebra breeder - and SO great to hear how strict you are on selling for the animal's good :)

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post #57 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 08:49 PM
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I'm sorry, but if Zebra's were no different to horses, they WOULD be horses. Simply another colour like appaloosa. There ARE differences, and I think it is quite possible that they are unable to be domesticated to the level of horses.

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post #58 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 09:41 PM
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IDK if anybody asked this but do u train a zebra like horse?

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post #59 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 10:18 PM
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very very interesting thread.
as a youngster, my FAVORITE part of the zoo's were, of course, the zebra's, always wanted one. although as I've gotten older I've realized that without knowing exactly what I'm doing it's never possible. and I wouldn't want it to sit in my yard as a lawn ornament.
my thanks go out to zebrabreeder for shedding some light on the situation, I'm sure everyone will be able to take something away from this thread.

the movie, Racing Stripes, is just that, a movie.

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post #60 of 61 Old 05-18-2009, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by huntseatgirl View Post
The Przewalski's horse illustrates my point quite well: it's more closely related to the domestic horse than to zebras, yet it displays "wild" behaviors (even when hand-raised) similar to those of a zebra.
I disagree on this. The debate still goes on about exactly where the Przewalski horse stands, so it can't be conclusively determined that they're anymore closely related then zebras. It's assumed they are, but that still means nothing, they're still a seperate sub species to the horse, just like the zebra is. It stands to question WHY the Przewalski would have never been domesticated when it looks so much like a horse, and the taming of horses has existed for so very long.

It's an interesting thought, but I don't think it can be conclusively said that every animal can achieve domestication with a certain amount of generations of consistant handling. Perhaps there IS something different? I would think there would be a reasoning behind why we domesticated some animals and not others. Humans have been working with zebras for many, many generations now, and are still not much closer to having "tamed" them as a species. I'd think that if horses had been this difficult in the beginning and had taken hundreds of years to reach a point where they weren't dangerous, people would have just given up.

Ultimately though, what is the point? Horses were domesticated for a purpose, a purpose that no longer exists and has turned the horse from a working counterpart to a luxury pet. Why do we need to start concentrating on domesticating zebras? For what purpose? To brag that you own a zebra? I have no issues with people who own zebras, I just don't see the point in trying to turn them into reliable riding animals. We already have an influx of unwanted horses, so what business do we have in trying to create yet ANOTHER disposable animal?
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