Tattoo of the Day

Tattoo by Tony Sklepic.

While most know that zebras’ stripes serve as camouflage for protection from predators (when grouped together, their stripes make it hard for a predator to see just a single individual), there remains the conundrum of: Is it a black coat with white stripes, or a white coat with black stripes?  Zebras are usually perceived as having white coats with black stripes because the general observation is that the stripes end on their bellies and legs, with the rest of the body white.  If you take a look closer, zebras actually have black skin underneath their coats.  So what it really comes down to is: are you a “the coat is half black” or a “the coat is half white” kind of person?

This unique coat has made the zebra a target of poachers for a very long time, and poaching continues to be one of zebra’s biggest threats today.  They are targeted for both their coat and meat.  This, in conjunction with habitat loss and competition with livestock for resources, have impacting zebra populations throughout Africa.  Particularly hard-hit, have been Grevy’s Zebras (listed as ‘endangered’) and Mountain Zebras (listed as ‘vulnerable’).  The Quagga was a subspecies of the Plains Zebra that was once found abundantly in South Africa’s Cape Province.  Unfortunately, overhunting drove the Quagga to extinction more than a century ago.  The last known true Quagga died in the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.  Conservationists are hopeful that the world’s remaining zebras will not follow the tragic path of the Quagga.

Remember: Tattoos are forever… and so is extinction.  To see all of the FANTASTIC art featured on Bush Warriors Tattoo of the Day, and to learn more about this initiative, please click here.  You can also share photos of your own wildlife tattoos and enjoy others’ at our Facebook group, Bush Warriors Inked Nation for Conservation.

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