Austin & San Antonio vacation 2013 348There are favorites in the African jungle.  The vast landscape is breathtaking.  Evening sunsets captivate the imagination.  Those are all part of a visit to the Dark Continent.

All of the animals make people gasp.  Each is unique with a remarkable pattern on their glistening coats.  The males and sometimes the females sport striking horns or antlers.

Some are huge.  An Eland or Watusi are massive animals.  They have powerful bodies.  Just  watching them walk and graze, their muscles ripple, pull, push, extend and motor the animal to wherever it wants to go.

Yet, there are favorites.  When we rolled into the Wildlife Safari Ranch, we were filled with expectation.  The plains Austin & San Antonio vacation 2013 346game antelope and other amazing animals entertained us.  We marvelled at every animal that  we could see.

However, we were on  the lookout for a special animal.  It is for some reason an intriguing favorite.  We were both eager to see and experience the zebra.

While most animals have easily distinguished males and females, the zebra is different.  It is difficult to spot which is which.  Like many creatures of the earth, there are more females than males.  After that it is tough to distinguish between the sexes.

Austin & San Antonio vacation 2013 357There are no color differences.  Some animals have the males with colorful or distinctive headgear, whether horns, antlers or manes that will be the male feature.  Female Barbary sheep have horns or pronghorn antelope females sometimes have horns.  However, the males of both of these fine animals have distinctively larger horns.  The zebra have no visibly distinguishing features.

The entire herd of zebra crowded around the tourists.  There was no shyness.  Instead, they along with the Ostrich were bold, brash and even overbearing.  If they found a vehicle with opened windows, they did not hesitate to poke their heads into the car, scare the occupants and grab any food that they could snatch.

Their comical antics were amazing.  However, the signature stripes that the Creator painted on their bodies is as Austin & San Antonio vacation 2013 367attractive as anything on the Savannah.  No two zebra stripe patterns are the same.  Each is as unique as every snowflake that falls to earth.

Some biologists think that besides fragrance, the pattern of newborn colt’s stripes are imprinted in its mother’s mind.  This is visa versa as well for the colt to know who its mother and source of food.  Each is one of a kind yet all are the same.  The Creator is amazing.

photo credit: brucefong photography