Symmetry is not important, but rhythm is.
Considering rhythm I would change your example to:
My understanding of zoology was poor, but I knew animals would do anything to survive: birds would use their wings to fly from snakes, buffaloes their legs to run from lions.
I alwasy read my texts aloud. They must have rhythm like a poem. Try it with your example and mine and you'll hear why I made the changes I made.
Besides reading more rhythmical, your text gets more focussed and intense from the deletions. That the legs are powerful is not important for the argument you make, so deleting that actually makes it more concise. "Run" is more forceful than "escape". "Fly" (= flee) is more visceral than (leisurely) "fly away". "And so on" feels vague and confused, while giving two examples gives your narrator a more decisive and clearheaded character.
(Also, maybe, "do anything", instead of "everything"?)