When they are in a herd the zebra’s distinct stripes merge into a big mass and make it hard for predators to single out individual animals.
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Facts about zebras
- Just like human fingerprints, a zebra’s stripe pattern is unique to the individual.
- Zebras are highly social, and will only go to sleep if they are close to neighbours so that they can be warned if a predator approaches. They also prefer to graze together and will groom each other.
- Zebras are brave animals that care deeply about their group members. When a group member is wounded by a predator attack, other zebras will come to its defence, circling the injured individual and attempting to drive the predator(s) away.
- Mother zebras are very caring and protective mothers. Infant zebras (foals) are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after birth, and will continue to drink their mother’s milk for the first year of life.
- All zebras are close to their mothers, but males also form strong bonds with their fathers.
- Zebras communicate with each other through various vocal expressions including sniffing and balking, but also through the position of their ears and tail. They can turn their ears in almost any direction and harness this ability to communicate their mood, for example pulled backwards when angry, or standing erect when calm and friendly.
- Zebra can run up to 65km/h. They combine this fast running with excellent stamina and zig-zagging motions to try and evade predators that chase them.
- Although they may appear to be badly camouflaged, when they are in a herd the zebra’s distinct stripes merge into a big mass and make it hard for predators to single out individual animals.
- Massive herds consisting of tens of thousands of zebras perform one of the world’s most awe-inspiring migrations across the Serengeti plains.
- In Native American shamanism, the zebra is the symbol of balance, agility, clarity without filters, and sureness of path.
- Zebras’ stripes are associated with harmony in some cultures. The black and white blending and balancing of opposites mimics the Eastern yin-yang symbol.
- Although zebras belong in the wild they are still used in travelling circuses in the UK. Find out about OneKind's campaign to end the use of wild animals in circuses.
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