Zebras are African equids best known for their distinctive black and white stripes which come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and asses, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
The plains zebra is the most common and geographically widespread species of zebra. It ranges from the south of Ethiopia through East Africa to as far south as Angola and eastern South Africa. The plains zebra remains common in game reserves, but is threatened by human activities such as hunting for its meat and hide, as well as competition with livestock and encroachment by farming on much of its habitat.
Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses, but may occasionally eat shrubs, herbs, twigs, leaves and bark. Their digestive systems allow them to subsist on diets of lower nutritional quality than that necessary for other herbivores.
Female zebras mature earlier than the males, and a mare may have her first foal by the age of three. Males are not able to breed until the age of five or six. Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year. Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born. A zebra foal is brown and white instead of black and white at birth.
I was born in 1996 at Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria and came to Australia Zoo in June 2011 with my two best mates, Zac and Stevie. I am the tallest of the three but I am still quite cautious around people and swish my tail when I am nervous - but once my keepers bring out the carrots, there is nothing that will keep me away!
I came to Australia Zoo in June 2011 all the way from Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria, along with my two mates, Michael and Zac. I am the oldest of the three zebra here and I was born in 1991. Because I'm the only stallion in the group, I'm the more dominant leader in our little herd, but I make sure I'm not too bossy, and the other two are happy to let me be the big man!
When you're up close to me, you can notice small white dots on my chest within one of my black stripes. I love having my photo taken - whenever there is a camera in sight, I will always be up front showing off my good looks.
I am the newest addition to the bachelor group at Australia Zoo. I moved here in April 2012 from the National Zoo in Canberra. My genes are very well represented in the region as I have had many children so I have moved to Queensland to retire.
My keepers have made my move here very easy. They spoil me with lots of yummy food and have also started conditioning me to being patted, which I am starting to enjoy!
You will often see me grazing away from the other zebras in the African Savannah. Although I like having other animals around me, I prefer having plenty of space to myself.