There are four species of zebra; the Plains Zebra, Grevy’s Zebra, Cape Mountain Zebra and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra.

Scientific Name Equus burchellii
Common Name: Plains Zebra
IUCN Status: LC - Least Concern

Spot the stripes

Each zebra has a unique pattern of stripes, as individual as a human’s fingerprint.  It is thought that this allows zebras to recognise individuals within their herd, and could be particularly useful for a mare recognising her calf, and vice versa. These stripes also assist the zebra in protection against predators. While running as a herd, the stripes may help blur the shape of an individual zebra and so make it difficult to be singled out and separated by a chasing predator. 

What's for lunch?

Zebras are herbivorous. Their diet consists of a variety of grasses, bark, roots, stems and other browse including leaves and twigs. Availability of food is largely determined by the presence of water and, as such, it is important that zebras migrate to follow the rains. They are rarely found more than 25-30 kilometres from water.

Social butterflies

Being herd animals bonds between mares are strong and they will generally stay together for life. Between one and three years, colts leave the family group to join a bachelor herd. At this time they will learn the skills to abduct young fillies from a family group to create their own family herds.

Zebras are highly social, generally living in family groups of between five and twenty individuals. They sometimes mass together in their hundreds to migrate over the plains during the dry season.

Plains Zebra enjoying a meal
Plains Zebra enjoying a meal

Come and meet us

You can met our Zebra at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo or Taronga Zoo Sydney.


Taronga is committed to the conservation of African wildlife. Comprehensive breeding programs not only develop a security population in captivity, but also assist in educating our guests about this amazing species.