most common species of Zebra found in Africa is the Plains/Burchell's Zebra.
Other species found are the very rare and endangered Cape Mountain Zebra;
Hartmann's Zebra (a subspecies of mountain zebra) found mainly in Namibia;
Grévys zebra, found mostly in Kenya.
Photo by Peter Frank Description and
Characteristics: Related to the horse, a Burchell's Zebra is of
stocky build with wide black and white stripes that run diagonally and
lengthways on the rump and continue on to the belly, all the way down to
hooves. The mane is upright and striped to match the neck. The tail is striped
with a dark tassle. Zebra stripes are as individual as a human fingerprint.
Grévys zebra has narrow stripes set closely together.
Horizontal stripes on the haunches, shoulders, and legs are short and fine and
extend all the way down the legs to the hooves. The mountain zebra has wider
stripes than the Grévys zebra, particularly on its rump.
both Grévys zebra and the Mountain Zebra the undersideof the belly
is completely or mainly white, which differs from the Plains/Burchell's zebra
whose stripes wrap around from the back to the belly.
nervous and jumpy, are a very sociable animals and generally found in large
herds with other herbivores such as antelopes, wildebeest, giraffe and
Habits: Zebra are exclusively grazers, eating over 50 different
species of grasses.
Plains/Burchell's Zebra lives throughout the grasslands, savanna, and scrub of
East Africa, reaching as far as Angola in the west generally in close proximity
of a permanent water source. Grévys zebra lives in grasslands and
thorny scrublands on the borders of northern Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. The
mountain zebra lives in the high ground of South Africa, and in the coastal
hills of Namibia and Angola.
Lifespan Male Plains/Burchell's Zebras can weigh up to 300 Kg and
have a shoulder height of about 50 inches whilst females are a little smaller.
Grévys zebras weigh up to 450 kg and both sexes weigh about the same.
Zebra's can live up to 30 years old but generally the life expectancy in the
wild is about 12 years due to predators.
Reproduction: Females are about 3 years old when
they give birth to their first foal. The gestation period lasts for about 12
months and the foal is usually suckled for 6 months. For males, breeding often
does not begin until age five or six.
and Threats: Zebra's are prey to lions and spotted hyenas. The
Plains/Burchell's/Chapman's Zebra is threatened by hunting and by habitat
change from ranching and other kinds of farming. Both the Grévys
zebra and the mountain zebra are listed as endangered on the Red List of
The Grévys zebra is threatened both by
hunting and by local livestock that compete with it for water and food. Its
range has shrunk dramatically, and it is now so small that environmental
hazards, such as drought, can easily affect the entire species
Zebras (Wild Africa) - by Melissa
S. Cole, Tom Leeson, Pat Leeson Examines the life of the zebra, pointing
out differences between the three species and the impact humans have had, and
continue to have, on these African mammals. Buy From (amazon.com) - USA(amazon.co.uk) - UK