Zebra are one of the most iconic of all of Africa’s grazing animals. They are currently separated into six sub species based on variations in features such as coat patterning and body size. Twycross Zoo’s zebra are Chapman’s zebra.
Zebra are famous for their black and white stripes. There are a number of different reasons suggested to explain zebra stripes, including dazzling predators, thermal regulation and stimulating group cohesion.
Chapman’s zebra can be found throughout east and southern Africa with a large proportion of the population found in Zimbabwe. They travel long distances across the plains for food, often being the first species to use new areas of grassland.
Zebra breed throughout the year with peak births during the wet season to ensure there is plenty of food. Gestation is around 360 – 390 days, after which a single young is produced that can stand almost immediately. The foal is weaned at 7 to 11 months, but can start eating grasses from one week old.
Zebra are widespread and do not face any threats significant enough to cause a range-wide population decline and are classed as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, local populations and various subspecies are affected by habitat loss, hunting and competition with livestock for grazing and water.