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OTTB FTW
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:10 AM
I can only imagine the spooks he would get off the farm.....:lol:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001570/Zack-jumping-zebra-You-believe-eyes-black-white.html?utm_source=myhorse.com+facebook&utm_medium=myhorse.com+wallpost&utm_campaign=facebook

riderboy
Jun. 16, 2011, 03:53 PM
That's amazing! I saw a video of that somewhere, the trainer said that zebras are very,very smart and that they tend to "bond" to one person. If you aren't that one person, forget it!

Ajierene
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:03 PM
I worked at a place with a zebra, he was an evil little thing. He bonded with a female mule that was put in his pen for company to the point where they had to separate them because he would not let any person near the mule. The woman had several gray mules on her property as well, as she liked driving them.

He was known to bite and tore my jeans at one point. A stout stick was always carried when dealing with him. He stayed in a stall at night.

He cornered me a few times - he may have liked me, I'm not sure, but when he was preventing me from getting out of the field to the barn, I was not happy. No, no interest in anything to do with zebras. A lot of people who have worked with zebras say you always need a stout stick and they can be VERY aggressive.

GatoGordo
Jun. 16, 2011, 05:29 PM
Nitpick with the article: Zebras are NEVER domesticated, only tamed. Domesticated means that a population or species has been kept by people and artificially selected for generations for desired traits, including tractability in the case of domestic animals.

Good for her that it's working out, but I think it's foolhardy and irresponsible in general for the general public to buy/breed/keep/etc. WILD animals as if they were the same as a horse, or cow, or donkey. They are more likely than horses to be aggressive, they are less predictable, and they do not have the thousands of years of selection that have made horses suited for training, constant human interaction, etc. This woman got lucky that the zebra has turned out to be manageable and hasn't hurt anyone. I can only hope that anyone who sees her and decides to do the same thing will be so lucky. The last "tame" zebra I saw, who was halter-broken and handled daily, took about 6 people and 45 minutes of lungeing forward and thrashing in the makeshift chute just to get a needle in for a Coggins.

I also have ethical concerns about keeping wild animals in captivity unless there is a conservation purpose - breeding programs for endangered species, public education and outreach for support of conservation, etc., not because somebody thinks it would be fun to have a stripey horsey. But then that is a wider concern that this one person is a very small part of. JMHO.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 16, 2011, 06:26 PM
I thought I had read another article where this particular person has a lot of experience with wild animals. I think her business is in excotic rehabilitation and animal training. So I don't think she is your typical Jane Doe who got a Zebra because she wanted a striped horse. The article I read she was pretty clear they are wild animals and require special care etc.

But I could be totally wrong.

GatoGordo
Jun. 16, 2011, 08:48 PM
I found her website (http://www.zebraguru.com/Home_Page.html) and it just gets better - she is not just a rehabber and trainer, she's in sales. On her update page, she raves about a zebra who is now in a home with little kids; one kid is standing directly in front of the zebra and holding it, with the other kid sitting on the zebra (no helmet, of course). The zebra is also shown watching TV in the house. Is this what a professional puts on their website?


Zebra Guru specializes in zebra training and sales. We offer quality zebra foals, trained weanlings, wild zebras and occasionally trained adults for purchase.

There's also a picture on there of her hugging a bear -- where was her brain? It has been shown time and again that so-called trained, so-called tame wild animals are still wild and retain dangerous instincts to a much greater degree than domesticated animals, to the point of maiming or killing the trainers and owners who thought that they had a "loving relationship" with the animal.

In one of the videos on her site, the zebra is shown being led through a National Forest (doesn't say which) and being asked to cross a bridge - all while loose, with the photographer tens of feet away. Irresponsible with a horse, let alone a zebra.

Just to be clear, I am certainly impressed with this person's ability as a trainer, but I disagree with the treatment of wild animals as pets, for the sake of both the animal and any people it comes in contact with. In case you were asking, I also disagree with people keeping wild squirrels, etc., as pets. I suppose it's possible that eventually we'll consider zebras to be domesticated, but for now my gut says it's not ethical and responsible to treat them as such.

To each his own, I guess, but that's my (over)reaction.

Molly Sorge
Jun. 16, 2011, 09:09 PM
Hey guys!

This story originated right here at the Chronicle. I did a story on Sammi Jo and Zack a month ago... http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/horse-different-color-indeed

It's been picked up by lots of different outlets and made it's way around the web, funnily enough.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 16, 2011, 09:16 PM
Hey guys!

This story originated right here at the Chronicle. I did a story on Sammi Jo and Zack a month ago... http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/horse-different-color-indeed

It's been picked up by lots of different outlets and made it's way around the web, funnily enough.


ah...that's what I remember reading! Good job on the story.:)

And GG--I hear your point and it is a good one.

Jealoushe
Jun. 16, 2011, 11:35 PM
I also have ethical concerns about keeping wild animals in captivity unless there is a conservation purpose - breeding programs for endangered species, public education and outreach for support of conservation, etc., not because somebody thinks it would be fun to have a stripey horsey. But then that is a wider concern that this one person is a very small part of. JMHO.

Horses were once wild, if someone didn't start to "tame" and domesticate them, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Have you met many Zebras? They really aren't much different from a pony attitude wise.

Ajierene
Jun. 17, 2011, 07:42 AM
Horses were once wild, if someone didn't start to "tame" and domesticate them, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Have you met many Zebras? They really aren't much different from a pony attitude wise.

I have met zebras and pony attitude is not the description. Dangerous is the description. The zebra I helped care for actually literally ripped my jeans off one day. Were I not wearing loose fit jeans, he would have taken a chunk of my inner thigh with him. He had been near people his entire life and bought at a 3 year old, so he should have had ground manners from his breeders. The owner knew some other zebra owners and all had similar stories of how difficult they were to train and how you constantly had to keep an eye on them.

One day the barn manager set him loose in the big field while we were driving the mules around. He ran next to us and was fine, but when she dropped me off near the barn, instead of following the carriage like she thought he would, he hung out near me and kept blocking my path. He did NOT act like any other horse or pony that I have ever dealt with. He acted different, did not respond to the cues to back off the way any equine has. He acted like a wold creature with his own agenda. No, pony attitude does not describe it.

Yes, thousands of years ago people started domesticating animals. They started domesticating animals for specific reasons: transportation, easier catch of food and protection. So, what is the purpose of going through the thousand year process of domesticating zebras?

riderboy
Jun. 17, 2011, 07:49 AM
I have met zebras and pony attitude is not the description. Dangerous is the description. The zebra I helped care for actually literally ripped my jeans off one day. Were I not wearing loose fit jeans, he would have taken a chunk of my inner thigh with him. He had been near people his entire life and bought at a 3 year old, so he should have had ground manners from his breeders. The owner knew some other zebra owners and all had similar stories of how difficult they were to train and how you constantly had to keep an eye on them.

Yes, thousands of years ago people started domesticating animals. They started domesticating animals for specific reasons: transportation, easier catch of food and protection. So, what is the purpose of going through the thousand year process of domesticating zebras?

The domestication process is fascinating. National Geographic had an article about a group of Russians who have been domesticating foxes as housepets. By carefully selecting foxes with the appropriate "character traits" they have managed, in a fairly short time ?20-30 years, to have foxes that are essentially housepets. I think it took "trainable " wild horses selectively bred over centuries to get the horse we have today. Even now, however, horses are hardly "safe", unless they are compared to something that is generally truly dangerous, like most wild zebras.

Ajierene
Jun. 17, 2011, 08:22 AM
The domestication of foxes in Russia started over 50 years ago and the idea was concieved to get more pliable animals for the fur trade (clothing, another survival trait for us furless animals). A result of the survival reason for domesticating animals is that more than one person has an interest in the domestication. If one person wants to domesticate an animals because 'they feel like it', what happens to that herd/kennel/pack/flock/etc when the person dies?

Foxes were carefully selected for temperment, fur quality secondary. Doctor Dmitri Belyaev headed the project and did not sell any foxes as pets until late 1990's.

Foxes have four to six kits, once per year and can breed at one year old. A three year old fox is a mature, finished adult. So someone can pick the best in genetics from a litter of four and breed two years later.

Conversely, a zebra has its first foal no earlier than three. She, like horses, has one foal. That foal will not have offspring until it is three.

So, by default it will take a LOT longer for the zebra to reach the same domestication level as the red foxes in Russia. There have been attempts to domesticate the zebra and there have been riding and driving zebras in the past. Captain Horace Hayes discussed different zebra species and the possibilities of domesticating them, noting that the Burchell's zebra was the best candidate. There is no mention of which zebras Sammi Jo owns, or that she is aware that there are different zebra species.

Behind the 8 Ball
Jun. 17, 2011, 09:16 AM
The domestication process is fascinating. National Geographic had an article about a group of Russians who have been domesticating foxes as housepets. By carefully selecting foxes with the appropriate "character traits" they have managed, in a fairly short time ?20-30 years, to have foxes that are essentially housepets. I think it took "trainable " wild horses selectively bred over centuries to get the horse we have today. Even now, however, horses are hardly "safe", unless they are compared to something that is generally truly dangerous, like most wild zebras.

And I thought Ayla from the Clan of the Cave Bears did that. hmmmmmmmm