Plains Zebra

Equus quagga

Scientific Name

Plains Zebra:  
Equus quagga

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

These African mammals are widespread throughout the continent and are found in southern Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Natural Habitat

This marvelously striped animal is commonly found inhabiting open areas of the African savanna. Since they are grazers they are restricted to savanna and grassland habitats which are flat open plains, grassy, or at least have sufficient vegetation to sustain a grazing animal.

Physical Characteristics

  • This horse-like animal can stand as tall as 56 inches high at the shoulder and weigh up to 800 pounds.  Its most distinguishing characteristic is its striping pattern; black or dark brown stripes on a white or off white background.  Their stripes are rather broad and distinct which meet under the belly and continue through to the hooves.  The plains zebra possesses a tufted tail and a stiff upright mane.

Quick Facts

  1. The patterns of their distinctive stripes are as individual as a human fingerprint.


  2. Within several minutes of its birth, a newborn zebra begins to walk, and within just a few hours is capable of running with the rest of the herd.


  3. If forced to face a predator, a zebra will defend itself with powerful kicks.  Just one strong, well-placed kick from a zebra is sufficient to kill a predator as large as a hyena.



Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Plains Zebra is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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In the wild, they are grazers and feed almost entirely on tall coarse grasses. In human care, plains zebras are fed Timothy hay, monogastric sweet feed and a vitamin supplement which is added to their food.