Amazing Facts About the Zebra

Each zebra has its own unique pattern of distinctive stripes, just as humans have their own unique pattern of fingerprints. Zebras stick together in herds. Within a herd, zebras tend to stay together in smaller family groups. Families are generally made up of a male, several females, and their young. Discover more curiosities about zebras!


  • There are only three species of zebras in the wild and they are found only in Africa: Burchell’s Zebras, also known as common zebra or from plains; The Grevy´s Zebras, also known as Imperial Zebra, due to a homage paid to the president of the French republic Jules Grévy; And the Equus Zebra, or mountain zebra, which are limited to the mountainous regions of South Africa and the Western Cape
  • The zebra stripes, according to a study by scientists at the University of Calgary and published by the magazine PLOS ONE, serve to protect animals from the brutal heat, which can be very intense in the savannas where they live
  • Just like human fingerprints, Zebra stripe patterns are unique to the individual
  • Depending on the species, a zebra can weigh between 5 ft and 992 lb. The Zebra of Grévy is considered the greater among the three species, being able to reach 4 ft of height and 992 lb, either male or female. They can live about 20 to 30 years in nature, and 40 in zoos
  • Zebra are highly social and will only go to sleep if they are close to neighbours so that they can be warned if a predator approaches. They also prefer to graze together and will groom each other
  • Zebra are brave animals that care deeply about their group members. When a group member is wounded by a predator attack, other zebras will come to their defence, circling the injured individual and attempting to drive the predator(s) away
  • Mother zebra are very caring and protective mothers. Infant zebras (foals) are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after birth, and will continue to drink their mother’s milk for the first year of life.
  • All zebra are close to their mothers, but males also form strong bonds with their fathers
  • Zebra communicate with each other through various vocal expressions including sniffing and balking, but also through the position of their ears and tail. They can turn their ears in almost any direction and harness this ability to communicate their mood e.g. pulled backwards when angry, or standing erect when feeling calm and friendly
  • Zebra can run up to 40mph. They combine this fast running with excellent stamina as well as being able to run in zig-zagging motions to evade predators that are chasing them
  • Although they may appear to be badly camouflaged, when they are in a herd the zebra’s distinct stripes merge into a big mass and make it hard for predators to single out individual animals
  • Massive herds consisting of tens of thousands of zebra perform one of the world’s most awe-inspiring migrations across the Serengeti plains
  • In Native American shamanism, the zebra is a symbol of balance, agility, clarity, and sureness of path.