Plains zebra in exhibit

Plains Zebra

Scientific Name

Equus quagga






Southeastern Africa


Savannas, woodlands, and scrub environments

Estimated Wild Population

More than 500,000
Plains zebra in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: NEAR THREATENED IUCN Conservation Status: NEAR THREATENED

More Information

Physical Description

Plains zebras have broader stripes than other zebra species, and their stripes become even broader and more horizontal toward their flank and rear. The stripes near their neck and forelimbs are more vertical and continue into their mane. Plains zebras primarily graze on grass, herbs, leaves, and twigs. Females in each harem, led by a stallion and alpha mare, can give birth to one foal each year.

Interesting Fact 1

Zebra stripes act as a kind of camouflage, making it difficult for predators to spot them within the grasses and twigs that make up their habitat.

Interesting Fact 2

Each individual’s stripe pattern is unique and acts as an identifying characteristic similar to human fingerprints.

Interesting Fact 3

Like other equids, plains zebras can fight off predators—including lions, hyenas, and wild dogs—with a powerful kick from their hind legs.

Species Survival Plan logo

Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

ADOPT an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

Browse the Wish List

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Learn More