Distribution: Eastern Africa
Habitat: Open grassy plains
Description: Zebras are smaller than horses. They have a mane on their neck and a long-haired tail. Zebras have black skin with white fur. Each zebra has its own individual stripe pattern.
Diet: Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly grass.
In the wild: Zebras live in close-knit family groups called a harem with the male controlling the group and protecting it from rivals or predators. Group members rely on each other to look out for danger. Zebras stay close to each other when they migrate in herds of 10,000 or more.
When migrating, zebras slow their pace for weak or young members and never leave them behind.
The zebra’s natural predators are lions, Spotted Hyaenas and African Painted Dogs.
Threats: There are three subspecies of zebra: Plains, Grevy’s and Burchell’s. The Plains species, which Grant’s Zebra is part of, is common in Africa but its numbers have reduced due to habitat destruction.
At Perth Zoo: Our Grant’s Zebras share their home in the African Savannah exhibit with Rothschild’s Giraffe.
Did you know? Zebras have several ways of protecting themselves when attacked by predators. The group will huddle together to form a mix of black and white stripes that will confuse the predator that will be unable to tell which end has the head and which end has the tail. The herd may also run away. Zebras can reach speeds of up to 65 kph. As a last resort, zebras can also use their strong hooves and sharp teeth against a predator.