Zebra Facts

1. Zebras come in three different species. They are the Grevy’s zebra, the mountain zebra, and the plains zebra. Of the three species, the Grevy’s zebra and the mountain zebras are on the list of endangered species.

2. The only place to find zebras living in the wild is on the continent of Africa.

3. Zebras can reproduce year round and the gestation period lasts between 12 and 13 months. The size of a litter for zebras is one foal, or baby zebra.

4. A zebra’s lifespan ranges between 30 and 35 years. In captivity, they often live as long as 40 years.

5. Zebras can range in size between 4 to 5 feet tall and between 7 and 9 feet in length. The Grevy’s zebra is the biggest as they can weigh from 770 to 990 pounds.

6. Zebras are part of the horse family and can run as fast as 35 mph. Baby zebras can begin running about one hour after they are born.

7. Zebras sleep while in a standing position.

8. Zebras have both day and night vision.

9. The position of a zebra’s ears shows what kind of mood that they are in.

10. A group of zebras is called a harem. A male zebra is called a stallion while the name for a female zebra is a mare. The baby zebras are foals.

11. Zebras are social animals. They prefer to be in groups when they are grazing or when they are sleeping so they can have a warning in case a predator approaches them. Many times, one zebra stays awake to watch for predators while the others sleep.

12. Zebras lose their habitats due to a variety of threats, including being hunted for their own skin and competition over food, water, and other resources. The expansion of farmland in certain areas is also a threat to their habitat.

13. There are currently about 750,000 plains zebras in existence. There are also about 2,500 Grevy’s zebras, which has dropped from a population of about 15,000. There are also fewer than 2,500 mountain zebras in the wild.

14. The most common predators for zebras are lions, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs.

15. When a predator chases a zebra, the zebra will run in a zig-zag pattern to make it more difficult for the predator to catch them.

16. The skin underneath the coat of a zebra is black. That means that a zebra is black with white stripes instead of having both white and black stripes.

17. Each zebra has a striped pattern that is unique to that individual zebra. They are like the fingerprints on humans, no two of them are alike.

18. The main purpose for the black and white stripes on a zebra’s body is for camouflage. Studies have also shown that the stripes are good for deterring blood-sucking insects, such as horseflies, from attacking them.

19. One African folk tale explains that the zebra got its black stripes after fighting with a baboon. The zebra kicked the baboon so hard that the zebra fell over into a fire. The fire left scorch marks over the zebra’s body, hence the black stripes.

20. In the Native American culture, the zebra symbolizes balance and sureness of path.