Facts about Zebra you might not know.

  • Like our finger prints, the zebra pattern is unique to the individual.

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  • They are highly sociable, will not sleep unless closely grouped for safety, they don’t quite cuddle, but graze together in family groups.
  • They are brave and will attempt to rescue downed family members from predators, circling, biting and kicking at the predators.
  • The maternal instinct of the Zebra Moms is unsurpassed, she will protect them to the extreme, she keeps her newly born away from other members of the family till her bar code is imprinted on their minds, as well as her call and smell.

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  • Baby Zebras drink from Mom for the first year, but they can stand walk and suckle quickly after birth and within an hour or so can run along side her if necessary…
  • Young Zebra are always close to their mothers but form bonds with their fathers as well. For a young stallion to win the hoof of a mare, he has to mock fight her Dad for his approval… I wonder if that is where our asking for the hand of a bride comes from??

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  • The Zebra family are very close, they will walk at the pace of the slowest, oldest or weakest, they will seek those that become separated, they tend to groom each other which probably strengthens their bond.


  • They communicate by sniffing and balking, odd barks and by the looks and positions of their tails, e.g. ears back when angry or cross, ears forward when friendly or calm…

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  • They can run fast, 65 km/hr.. 40 m/hr., they use this with their stamina and excellent side stepping abilities to avoid capture by predators.
  • Although they seem badly camouflaged, the stripes when in a herd, confuse the living daylights out of their natural enemies who have trouble singling out an individual.


  • Lion have been heard to say..”which way is that darn animal facing??”
  • These animals are known to move in their millions (slight exaggeration) ok, tens of thousands when migrating on  the plains of the Serengeti, yet unlike the wildebeest that accompany them that loose their young, very few to no young Zebra get separated from their Moms… Good kids they are, not like a few human kids I know….

75 thoughts on “Facts about Zebra you might not know.

  1. I just started reading your blogs this morning. Loved the one on Zebras. I have always loved them but knew next to nothing about them even though I am originally from South Africa. I look forward to going back through all your blogs and to receiving the new ones.

  2. I LOVE this! Zebras have always tweaked my interest since I have horses….so does anyone ever have a Zebra as a pet or as a companion…they appear to be too small to ride….but not sure? I love reading the incredible facts about their behavior and yes horses are this way too…they are very social and protective of each other…and they are so very smart too…and I am sure Zebras are too. Thank you for sharing the facts and the photos…I find them fascinating:)

    • Thank you… one thing is for sure not many have ridden a Zebra and not ended up almost in hospital… there are those that become fairly tame, but not such that one could go right up to them… they would easily carry a persons weight .. actually as strong as oxen… but never been tamed to such an extent… a farmer I knew raised an orphen zebra but once it reach maturity he had to let it back into the veldt (bush) their family hierarchy did not fit the animal and it got quite stroppy with the kids…

      • Thank you for the info as I always wondered…I grew up with horses so when I watched various wildlife shows growing up, anything that resembled a horse I was interested in and Zebras always fascinated me…their markings and their intelligence…I did not know much about them though….and you provided me with that:) I would still try to befriend them…not as a riding horse but as a companion I guess…I bet once they decided to trust you they would be loyal for life to you.I would hope that they could trust eventually, then I would treat them as a well loved horse with kindness and respect:)

        • There is a small herd or family group in the city where I walk often that are fairly tame… having been brought up in the bush I have a fair understanding of their moods and groups… I find I can get to within 2 to 3 metres (10ft) of this group sit quietly on the ground and they will graze around me.. I do get some fantastic photos from these sessions… I feel they know I’m no threat and tolerate my photo shoots without any bother.. I just find it odd how they will get weary when others come near and show all the signs of threats etc… (ears back) and even some snorting.. but when those threats move off they settle with me quite happily…

          • Its because they trust you…they know your heart. It is the same with horses…they are herd animals and they are programed to the fear and flight ways…so when we get a new horse or a colt, it is up to us, the human to figure out how to win their trust…if we do that and we are consistent with them, we will have a great horse and we can trust them and they us. The Zebras have the same fear and flight thing…and thank you again for sharing this:)

    • Thank you… they are such tough nuts the young… and trying to get a photo not always easy, mothers tend to get in the way for obvious reasons… but they are cute…

  3. I saw something on the Discovery Channel that said when a baby zebra was born it immediately started memorizing its mother’s stripes (because all their patterns were distinct)..that’s amazing!

  4. Interesting information and photos Bulldog. Turning into zebra week, and how very enjoyable it is.

  5. Within an hour a baby can run. My mom wanted me to walk before my first birthday. I took my first step the day after my first bday. I think she’s still mad about that.

  6. Zebra obviously share some human characteristics. This is a great post, fab pics too! Thanks for sharing this, I’ve learned more about zebra here than on a documentary! 🙂

    • Thank you for such a lovely complement… I do love Zebras and have watch their antics for many years now… picking up all sorts of fun facts that I haven’t shared here…

  7. I enjoyed reading this post. I learned a lot about zebras today. Is it true zebra have a close partnership with ostriches for warning of predators? I have a gained a new respect for these animals.

  8. I saw this post in my (over-full) inbox and jumped to it straight away! I love these interesting facts. The young stallion mock fighting his prospective mate’s Dad for his approval is a classic! Love it 😀

  9. Lovely facts and photo’s as usual bulldog. They are such beautiful animals. Love seeing them just the way you can photograph them! Thanks for sharing. 😀 *hugs*

  10. I love Zebras even more now — they sound highly evolved and almost emotional! Beautiful shots – love the close-up of the eye and the nursing shot after that! 🙂 x Love to you – Robyn

    • Thanks Robyn… I can sit and watch these animals interacting for hours… a fascinating example of nature if one just takes the time to watch and understand… thank you Dear friend such a lovely comment…

    • I have again spent many an hour watching their behaviour… there is a video called “Patterns in the grass” made locally, by a married couple of our wild life specialists, who spend their whole life making films about our animals ( I get so jealous thinking of the life they lead) if you get the chance watch it. It has been shown many times on the National Geographics Channel… they are the Jouberts…

  11. Interesting family habits! What surprises me is that with zebras being so sociable and horse-like, the local population didn’t successfully domesticate a strain of them. I do know that some were exported to England as exotic carriage-‘horses’.

    • I do believe some have been semi domesticated… but you can take the Zebra out of the bush, but I doubt you can take the bush out the Zebra…

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