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The Mane Event: Quiet drink at watering hole turns to violence in African park



By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 3:06 PM on 31st July 2010



These usually placid zebras let off some steam by taking part in a fun group play fight.

Baring their teeth and even jumping on each other's backs, the fighting animals had earlier been enjoying a quiet drink at a watering hole when battle began.


The extraordinary battle was captured by photographer Sam Dobson on his first-ever safari.


article-0-0AA06748000005DC-981_634x396.jpg Fight: The zebras come together, baring their teeth and scrapping in the heat of the African day


The 49-year-old was visiting the Etosha National Park, Namibia, when he noticed the zebras.

He said: 'I spotted the herd drinking at a pond. At first they were amicable but after they were refreshed they started play-fighting.







'It was incredible to see. There was even a moment where it seemed they were playing rugby.


'It lasted for a while. Sometimes they'd stop for a drink, then they'd start playing again.


'The baring of teeth seems very aggressive. I know apes see that kind of behaviour as a sign of aggression so it could be the same here.

'But I didn't feel any anger between them, they seemed more playful and were quite friendly to each other afterwards.'



article-0-0AA060F5000005DC-119_634x286.jpg Relaxed: The family group of zebras interact playfully after drinking at the watering hole, moments before the fight breaks out


Mr Dobson had initially travelled to the safari park in hope of capturing the perfect picture of a wild lion, he had even applied for a special permit to drive off the usual tourist routes.


Unfortunately, he didn't spot any but had enjoyed the rare sighting of the zebra at play.


Mr Dobson, who lives in Moscow, Russia, said: 'I was totally amazed - It was fantastic to be able to watch a scene like that.

'These are the most unique and rare shots I took during my travels in Namibia.'

Herds of the animal are common in Africa, numbering up to 1,000 and containing family groups of up to 20.


article-0-0AA04E0F000005DC-310_634x514.jpg Take that: The zebras converge in a tangle of of hooves and teeth during the friendly battle


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