Plains zebra in exhibit

Plains Zebra

Scientific Name

Equus quagga

Class

Mammalia

Order

Perissodactyla

Range

Southeastern Africa

Habitat

Savannas, woodlands, and scrub environments

Estimated Wild Population

More than 500,000
Plains zebra in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened

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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.

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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®.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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