Africa is the perfect place to see plains zebras. You are almost guaranteed to see one while on safari. You can spot them migrating in thousands into Kenya. Here, we give you 5 fascinating facts about plains zebra. You will love their sightings while on safari. You will also enjoy seeing many other beautiful animals in Africa.
Plains zebra habitat
Plains zebra are found in most habitats in Africa. Usually, you will find them in savannah woodlands and treeless grasslands. You may not spot them in wetlands, rainforests, and deserts. You can see plains zebra while on safari. They are many in Kenya. They are common in conservation areas such as Masai Mara. They are also common in the Serengeti reserve. They migrate with wildebeests in search of water. This is because they need constant access to water. Normally, they always stay about 25 km from a water source. Plains zebras are the most common species in African countries. You can also find them in Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.
Plains zebra diet
They are herbivores. Mostly, you will spot them grazing to obtain food. They are not picky eaters. They eat different grasses. They can even eat young trees and leaves. This is the reason you may spot them in woodlands. They eat taller grass and leave shorter ones for other animals. This is how they reduce food competition. You are likely to spot them with wildebeests. To avoid conflicts, they feed on taller grasses. Then, wildebeests feed on shorter grasses.
Plains zebra weight
Plains zebra breeding occurs at any time of the year. But it peaks during the rainy seasons. The female horse is known as a mare. When she is ready for mating, she takes an ‘estrous posture’. This is the position females take to allow males to mount on them. In response, males try to take the female from her natal group.
When the mare becomes pregnant, she sticks with a harem. This is a group of breeding females, babies, and a dominant male. The gestation period is about 12 months. Females give birth in secluded places. You may not find them in a harem. This is to protect them from predators such as leopards, lions, hyenas, and cheetahs.
Females give birth to one baby known as a foal. But they can give birth to twins. A newborn can weigh about 32 kg. It will have brown stripes and a shaggy coat. Adults weigh about 250 to 300 kg. The baby can stand minutes after birth. It can walk an hour after birth. It will begin to graze within a week.
Males leave family groups when they reach 1 to 3 years. They can join a bachelor group or live in smaller male groups. Stallions abduct females at 1 to 2 years.
Plains zebra lifespan
Plains zebra’s lifespan is about 40 years. Most will live up to 20 years. But in managed care, they can live up to 40 years. The main causes of death are hunting, diseases, and loss of habitat. Predators such as big cats hunt plains zebra for food. Humans hunt these beautiful animals for meat and skin. Human activities such as farming and livestock grazing have led to a loss of habitat. These animals can die from starvation. Diseases such as anthrax and rabies are also a threat to their survival.
5 Fascinating Facts About Plains Zebra
- They have a powerful kick
Plains zebras use several methods to protect themselves. They have great eyesight. They are also very good at hearing. This helps them to stay alert. When they spot a predator, they produce a sharp sound. Females and young ones will run away. Males will trail behind to offer protection. If one animal is attacked, others will come to protect it. They use their hindlegs to kick out a predator. With this kick, it can throw down a lion.
- They have different vocal calls
This is among the 5 fascinating facts about plains zebras. They have greeting vocals. You can hear foals and adults making these calls. Each call is unique. Humans can identify individual zebras by listening to their calls. They make contact calls. They make about 18 calls in a second. They snort for about a second when they are agitated. They snort for more than 2 seconds to say they are well.
- They are social animals
Plains zebra are fairly social. You will spot them in small family groups. These are known as harems. Each group has a male, 6 females, and their babies. Females have a stronger bond. They are always together even when the male dies or leaves. These groups remain together even for years. As a result, plains zebras tend to have stable family units.
- They have unique stripes
Each animal has a unique coat. The stripes are unique as our fingerprints. This is one of the 5 fascinating facts about plains zebra.
- They use facial expressions to communicate
Plain zebras communicate using different sounds. But they also use facial expressions. They press their ears against their heads when threatened. They stick their ears up when greeting each other.
Now you know 5 fascinating facts about plains zebra. These are common species in Africa. You are more likely to spot them while on safari. Do you want to learn more about African wildlife? Follow our blog today.