I just watched a documentary on PBS that featured many African mammals in the wild. One scene in the documentary showed a baby zebra that was described as "minutes old" walking next to its mother. After a brief moment discussing how the baby needed to learn to walk shortly after birth they showed a male zebra rush the baby and attack it. The mother, obviously distressed, was trying to push the male zebra off the baby without much success. After a period of the male repeatedly cycling between stomping on the baby and pulling it off the ground (by the leg or neck) with its teeth, the male zebra left the baby broken on the ground. The mother stood watch over the baby and you could see the baby struggling. Once the vultures started circling the mother started desperately calling to the baby, but the baby died soon after.
The narrator said this attack happened because the male was new and the baby was from an older male that was muscled out. They said this attack was an instinctual response by the new male to give their offspring the best chance at survival. It is probably naive of me but I was frankly a bit surprised that a zebra would act in this manner. This leads to my question. Is this an accepted social norm for zebras, or should the young male expect retribution? The mother probably couldn't win a fair fight against the male but I'm sure even zebras sleep. She could probably give him a hard kick to the head when he was asleep though and hurt him badly before he could put up much of a fight. Alternatively I'm sure a pack of female zebras could take on one male, but somehow that seems even more unlikely than an ambush by a lone female.