Plains Zebras are naturally found in East, S.W. and Southern Africa. They inhabit open, grassy plains or well-grassed woodlands and at times can also inhabit mountain slopes up to 4,420m.
The plains zebra is mid-sized and thick bodied with relatively short legs. Adults of both sexes stand about 1.4 meters high at the shoulder, are approximately 2.3 meters long, and weigh around 220-322 kg. Males may weigh 10% more than females. They are boldly striped with black or dark muzzles and have an upright short mane. The main colours are black and white but the southern plains zebra displays “shadow” brown stripes between the black and white colourings.
- Group Structure: Either existing in a harem comprising of 1 stallion and 5-20 mares and foals or the males could form a bachelor herd.
- Diet: Variety of natural grasses, roots, bark, stems, twigs, leaves and herbs.
- Reproduction: Gestation period of 12 months after which a single or rarely twin foals are born.
- Lifespan: 20-30 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity.
- No two zebras have the same stripe pattern just like human finger prints.
- The stripes of the zebra help it blend within the herd so predators will find it difficult to single just one animal out.
- Zebras are noisy and restless and have a distinctive call sounding much like a barking whinny.
- Most Africans think that Zebras are black with white stripes as the Zebra skin under the fur is mostly black.
- Main predators are Lions, Hyenas, Wild Dogs, Crocodiles, Leopards and Cheetahs.