Scientific Name: 
Equus burchellii
Phylum: 
Chordata
Species class: 
Mammalia
Order: 
Perissodactyla
Family: 
Equidae
Genus: 
Equus
Species: 
burchellii
Status: 
Least Concern
Population Trend: 
Stable
Quick Facts

Life Span: 25 years in the wild

Size: Shoulder height - 110-150cm

Weight: 200-400kg (males are larger than the females)

Speed: Approximately 55-60km/hr

Collective Noun: Herd (dazzle)

Fun Facts

There are three species of zebra. These are the Plains Zebra, Grevy’s Zebra and  Mountain Zebra. Taronga has focused its breeding program on the Plains Zebra and our shared collection between Sydney and Dubbo has led to a large number of births added to the global breeding plan for this species.

Stripes for recognition and camouflage: 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. 

There are in fact four species of zebra - the Plains Zebra, Grevy’s Zebra, Cape Mountain Zebra and Hartmann's Mountain Zebra.  We have Plains Zebra at Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos which are the most common of the four species in the wild. You will find zebras in the wild throughout Central and Southern Africa.

At Taronga:

Currently at Taronga Zoo Sydney, we have two male zebras, Zuri and Zubiri. 

How to tell them apart: The two zebras are easy to tell apart as the larger one (Zuri) has a very distinctive ‘A’ shape pattern on his shoulder and the younger animal (Zubiri) has a wide dark stripe across his ears. Zubiri can also be a bit mischievous, chasing the guinea fowl out of the exhibit. 

The zebras are often housed with our herd of giraffe and as well as replicating a natural relationship, it also provides both the giraffe and zebra with a valuable source of enrichment. 

In the wild, zebras and giraffes are often found in the same areas. Zebra can often gain an essential early warning by watching the reactions of the giraffe. While zebras at the zoo do not have to worry about prides of lions, by housing these animals together, visitors can learn about this natural relationship.

Region: 
Source: 
IUCN Red List
Year assessed: 
2008