Zebra

SPECIES PROFILE

Name: zebras are uniquely striped members of the horse family that includes three distinct species: the plains zebra (Equus quagga), the mountain zebra (Equus zebra), and the Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi).

Appearance: zebras’ unique black and white stripes make them one of the most recognisable animals on Earth. The mountain zebra tends to have a white belly and narrower stripes than the plains zebra. While Grevy’s zebras have long narrow heads and ‘mowhawk’ style manes. It used to be believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes, but the latest scientific research shows that they are actually the other way around!

Size: the common plains zebra is around 1.2 to 1.3 metres tall and 2.0 to 2.6 metres long. The Grevy’s zebra is considerably larger, and the mountain zebra is somewhat smaller.

Diet: zebras feed almost entirely on grass although they occasionally eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves, and bark.

Did you know: there used to be a unique subspecies of zebra called the quagga which became extinct in the 19th Century. Quaggas differed from other zebras in that they were mostly brown – only having stripes on the fronts of their bodies. Since their extinction,  a group in South Africa has set up the Quagga Project to selectively breed plains zebras to produce an animal resembling the quagga. The first quagga like foal with reduced stripes was born in 1988. There are now around 116 of these zebras, 6 of which have fewer stripes. The goal is to have a population of around 50 ‘quaggas’ and move them to a protected area within their former natural habitat.

Location: zebras can be found in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, scrublands, and mountains. The plains zebra is the most common and is found across much of southern and eastern Africa. The mountain zebra is found in southwest Africa, and the rare Grevy’s zebra is found in the semi-arid grasslands of Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

Where TO SEE zebras

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see zebras in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Amboseli
Kenya
100%
very high
5.0
very good
2
reports
Kruger
South Africa
100%
very high
5.0
very good
1
reports
Tsavo
Kenya
100%
very high
5.0
very good
1
reports
Hell’s Gate
Kenya
100%
very high
4.5
very good
2
reports
Samburu
Kenya
100%
very high
3.0
good
1
reports
Maasai Mara
Kenya
80%
very high
5.0
very good
5
reports
Lake Naivasha
Kenya
75%
high
4.3
very good
4
reports

Photo credit: IanZA under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay 

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