Zebra April 20161

Zebras have white coats with black (sometimes brown) stripes with black skin underneath their hair. When zebras run together in a group, their stripes make it hard for predators to pick out one zebra to chase. Zebra stripes are unique to each individual. Male zebra are called stallions, females are called mares and their offspring are called foals. All zebra have excellent hearing and eyesight and can run at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

Diet: Zebras are herbivores and feed mostly on grasses, but can also eat the leaves and stems of bushes. This food can be tough on their teeth, so zebra teeth keep growing throughout their lives. 

In the Wild: Grevy’s is one of three species of zebra.  Each zebra species have different sized stripes. The Grevy’s zebra has the thinnest stripes despite being the largest zebra species, weighing from 770 to 990 pounds and measuring up to 5 feet tall.  During the dry season, zebra herds migrate to find more food and water. Most species of zebras do not establish a specific territory that they live within, except for the Grevy’s zebra. Grevy’s zebra stallions will mark their territories with urine and dung. Mares will then move into the males territory to breed and then will move on with the foals. 

Conservation issues/actions: Threats facing Grevy’s zebras are habitat loss and diseases such as anthrax. Though Grevy’s zebras can survive 5 days without drinking water, nursing zebra moms must drink every day. Human habitat use is destroying important habitat making zebra travel long distances between their food and water sources.  

At the Zoo: 

The zebra at Reid Park Zoo are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) to support healthy populations of zebras within zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Conservation efforts such as the Species Survival Plan are essential for preserving the genetic diversity of animal populations in human care, and help safeguard against the decline of populations in the wild. 

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Species Name:
Grevy’s Zebra
Scientific Name:
Equus grevyi
Proud Parents:
Alma Vasquez
Evie and Maya Abrahams
Linda Coleman
James Baldwin
Janelle Southard
Susan Rubin
Michael Cuno
Linda Powell
Elizabeth Hurd
Taylor Uhe
Sharyn Felton