Grevy's Zebra

Grevy's Zebra



COMMON NAME: Grevy's zebra
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Perissodactyla
FAMILY: Equidae
GENUS SPECIES: Equus (horse) grevyi


DESCRIPTION: Dark brown stripes on the body are narrow, positioned close together, and do not cover the belly which is white. Mane is tall and erect, unlike a horse's; ears are large and donkey like with thick fur inside.
SIZE: 1.25-1.5 m (4-5 ft.) at withers
WEIGHT: 350-430 kg (780-950 lb.)
DIET: Variety of grasses
GESTATION: 380-390 days
NURSING DURATION foals nurse for 6-13 months
MALE 6 years
FEMALE 2 years
LIFE SPAN: 20-25 years in the wild, 25-30 years in captivity
RANGE: Kenya and Ethiopia
HABITAT: Semi-arid scrub and grasslands
STATUS: IUCN Not listed
CITES Not listed
USFWS Threatened


1. Grevy's zebras are unusual because they do not form long lasting bonds like the plains zebras and horses. Their group composition may change on an hourly basis.
2. Within an hour after it is born, a foal can run with the rest of the herd and can recognize its mother with smell and sight.
3. Stripes may cause confusion by making it hard for a predator to single out an individual.
4. Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern, like a person's fingerprint.


The major threats to the Grevy's zebra are introduced livestock that compete for grazing land and hunting for zebra skins. Zebras are beneficial to other wild grazers because they clear off the tops of coarse grasses that are difficult for other herbivores to digest. Also, zebras eat course grasses that grow on marginal lands where cattle do not do well.


Elzenga, Johan W., "Why Zebras are Striped." SWARA, July-Aug. 1992, pp. 29-30.

Nowak, Ronald (ed.). Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1991.

Rowen, Mary, and Joshua Ginsberg. "Grevy's Zebra: Equid of a Different Stripe." African Wildlife Update, Jan.-Feb. 1994, p. 4.

Stevens, Jane E. "Zebras in Turmoil." International Wildlife, Sept.-Oct. 1994, pp.6-12.

Walther, Fritz R., Communication and Expression in Hoofed Animals. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984.