The zebra seems to be a gentle animal, but the male zebra kills a newborn zebra as soon as it has just been born, which is nothing less than another carnivore like a lion.
The zebra whose mother has not recovered after birth has to stand up, kicks towards the male zebra to save his son’s life in a difficult situation.
The act of killing offspring of the same species is not only in zebras but also in many other mammals such as baboons Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), lions, dolphins … with the name “infanticide” (killing a baby).
Anthropologist Sarah Hrdy of the University of California (USA) was the first to propose an explanation for the phenomenon in the animal world in 1970: “Killing newborns can be an evolutionary reproduction strategy at males and sometimes females “.
Zoologist Dieter Lukas at Cambridge University and his colleagues are behavioral ecologists Elise Huchard working at the French National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS for even deeper study.
They conducted the study and observed the behavior of 260 different species, the results showed that killing offspring occurs in 119 species, of which the main culprits are all males.
After comparing with other good kernels related to social structure and mating behavior, both researchers found that killing offspring occurs more often in socially structured animals with males and live together.
Especially in that society, there are a few leading males, controlling the right to mate with the females in the herd (meaning that other males will be restricted or avoid from mating) but only in some stage.
In addition, it is related to the seasonal reproductive cycle of giving birth ( female zebra can mate at any time). Therefore, the male will seek to kill the offspring (especially the predecessor’s opponent ) in order to reserve the right to mate, making the female zebra return to the earlier estrus period.