Zebras are some of the most recognisable animals in the world. Most children will be able to identify this distinctive member of the horse family by its black and white stripes. This page contains zebra facts for kids and adults, and is part of our African Animals series.
Zebras are known to travel great distances to find food and water when the dry season arrives.
When not eating or traveling, zebras do take the opportunity to sleep. In fact, they sleep standing up! But zebras only sleep when they are in large groups so that they can be alerted of danger.
A typical plains zebra family consists of a male, called a stallion, several females, called mares, and their children. When a female becomes pregnant, it takes 13 months to have the baby, called a foal. These family groups are called harems. The harems will often join with other families to form large herds.
Zebras can live up to 25 years in the wild.
Zebra females (mares) can usually have their first foal when they are 3-years-old. Males mature much more slowly and are not able to breed until the age of 5 or 6. Females are pregnant for 12 to 14 months and can give birth to 1 foal every 12 months. Newly-born foals are precocious, i.e. they are able to stand, walk and suck milk soon after birth, and weigh 55 to 88 lb (25 to 40 kg) at birth. Foals are weaned after about a year.
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