What is it about?
Infanticide is the act of killing a dependent offspring of the same species, often associated with species with extended parental care, resulting in an increase in access to either resources or reproductive opportunities by the perpetrator. Infanticide has been described across mammal species. However, for many members of the genus Equus, most documented cases of infanticide originate from captive populations or are based indirect evidence in wild populations. Therefore, it is unclear whether infanticide occurs in wild populations in many Equus species._x000D_ _x000D_ Here, we report evidence of infanticide in Cape mountain zebra(Equus zebra zebra, CMZ).Firstly, we describe an eye-witness account of aggression by bachelors towards foals, which we interpret as a probable infanticide attempt. The foals were separated from the parent group, chased and harried for a total of 45 minutes before the mothers and herd stallion were able to regain their offspring. _x000D_ _x000D_ We also report three cases of infanticide from necropsy providing photographic evidence of the external injuries. These injuries include two kick marks to the side of an infant and bites marks on the ear as well as a broken neck sustained by another infant. The injuries sustained are consistent with infanticidial injuries documented in other equids species. _x000D_ _x000D_ This study provides the first first-hand evidence of infanticide in the subspecies and the first for the species in the wild. _x000D_
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This page is a summary of: Evidence of infanticide in the Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra), Behaviour, July 2021, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/1568539x-bja10106.
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