Equus quagga

About Zebra

js1-zebra-ksp-june15-0706There are three species of zebra living today; Grevy’s Zebra, which are the largest, the mountain zebra which is the smallest and the common, or plains, zebra that you will see on the rhino reserve of the five mile safari drive. Back in Africa, every rainy season, the plains zebra take part in the mass migration, a movement of animals following the rains, across the Serengeti during which they travel approximately 1,125km (700 miles) in 9 months. Their long legs and hard hooves are well adapted to this trek which also completed by the newborn zebra foals that are born on the move. A female zebra will have one baby every tow years and a zebra foal takes less than a minute to walk after being born, which along with Wildebeest calves is the fastest of any mammal, essential for animals that need to keep moving if they are to survive. A young zebra is an ideal meal for a lion, cheetah, leopard or hyena in contrast to an adult which could easily kill a predator with their powerful kick.

There are different reasons why people think zebra have evolved such a unique colour pattern. Natural selection has favoured this unusual pelage (fur or hair of a mammal) and we can only guess it is linked to their survival strategy. Predators have evolved colours and patterns that blend them with the tall grass they hide in ready to ambush animals such as antelope, warthog and zebra, however the black and white stripe is a conspicuous design to us. Perhaps when viewed as a herd with many individuals all grazing together it would be difficult to pick out one zebra from another with their pattern merging and this could dazzle onlooking predators.

Our Dazzle

The rhino reserve is home to our herd of zebra, along with wildebeest, ostrich and buffalo.

Fact Finder

They are odd-toed ungulates which means they have an odd number of toes on each hoof.

With zebra being a prey species they have evolved excellent eyesight, hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

Three species of zebras live in Africa; Plains Zebra, Mountain Zebra, and the Grevy Zebra.

The stripes on a zebra are like fingerprints, no two patterns are alike.

Zebras live in social groups. A female zebra can have her first foal by the age of three.

Zebra foals are brown in color when they are born.

Zebras are hunted for their skin.

Zebras are Herbivores, which means they eat plants, grasses and roots. This makes them a very successful member of the grassland community.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Zebra are hunted for their skin but pressure also comes from sharing their habitat with farmers grazing their livestock.


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