ANIMAL FACTS - Zebra
Zebras sleep standing upright.
Our three male zebras arrived at Australia Zoo in June 2011 from Werribee Open Range Zoo. The unique stripes of zebras make these among the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills.
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.
Neigh! Just kidding, I don't neigh, I'm not a horse. I'm Lucas, a zebra. I live on the African savanna here at Australia Zoo with my zebra friend Zambezi. My favourite food is carrot and I absolutely love playing. I'm the cheekiest zebra on the savanna so you can usually catch me riling up my zebra friend. I love sparring with him and playing around in our home. Despite my confidence around my zebra friend, I am a shy and timid animal so I tend to stay with my herd.