Cape Mountain Zebra - Equus zebra zebra

• Hedgehog - Atelerix frontalis • Bushbabies - Lorisidae • Greater cane rat - Thryonomys swinderianus • Baboons and Monkeys - Cercopithecidae • Pangolin - Manis temminckii • Antbear - Orycteropus afer • Hares - Leporidae • Squirrels - Sciuridae • Spring Hare - Pedietes capensis • Porcupine - Hystrix africaeausralis • Jackals and Foxes - Canidae • Weasels, Polecats, Badgers and Otters - Mustelidae • Civets, Suricates, Genets and Mongooses - Viveridae • Haenas - Hayenidae • Cats - Felidae • Hyraxes - Procaviidae • Pigs - Suidae • Antelope - Bovidae • Rhinocerus - Rhinocerotidae • Zebras - Equidae • Hippopotamus - Hippopotamus amphibius • Giraffe - Giraffa cameloperdalis • Elephant - Loxodonata africana •

Hartmann's Mountain Zebra - Equus zebra hartmanni | Cape Mountain Zebra - Equus zebra zebra | Burchell's Zebra - Equus burchelli


Afrikaans Kaapse Bergsebra Xhosa Dauwa

10 cm


Cracked across middle

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

The stripes on the flanks do not extend onto the belly whereas the belly is striped in Burchell's Zebra. The legs are striped all the way down but the stripes fade on the lower legs of the Burchell's Zebra. The stripes run crossways on top of the rump but diagonally and lengthwise in Burchell's Zebra. Also, the stripes are black and white whereas Burchell's Zebra has shadow lines dividing the white stripes on the rump. The ears are larger than in Burchell's zebra. Like a human fingerprint and irises, each individual has a unique stripe pattern.

Visible Male/Female Differences

Females have a pair of nipples between their hind legs.  Males are slightly larger than females.

Habitat and Distribution

Mountainous areas of the Cape. They prefer grassland to scrub.


A selective grazer eating stem and leaf.


Single foals are born after a gestation of 364 days and at any time of year.  Foals first graze at a few days old and are weaned at 10 months. Females first foal at  5 years at which time males are sexually mature but breed only at 7 years. Lifespan is at least 25 years.

Behavior and Habits

Most active during the day, alternating grazing with resting. They drink twice a day and prefer clean water. The kinship group is a breeding herd and consists of a stallion with up to five mares and their offspring. Old herd stallions are displaced by younger challengers after savage fights.  Dominance among the mares of a herd is maintained largely by display threats like the pulling back of the ears, lowering the head and baring the teeth in a vicious grimace.

Because foals remember the mothers body pattern and associate it with their mother, mothers aggressively drive other zebras away from their newborn foals to avoid the foal mistakenly identifying and bonding with them instead. Stallions run at the back of the herd when running from danger and walk at the front when they go down to water. Home ranges are 3.1 to 16 square km and are not defended as territories. Young males leave the kinship groups when they are 2-3 years old and join bachelor groups. Young females leave their kinship group when they first come into heat and will not join a herd controlled by a stallion that is related to them.


Stallions snort in alarm as well as a high-pitched alarm call. A drawn-out squeal when signaling submission. A soft fluttering of the lips caused by forceful exhalation of breath.

Dung and Field sign

The dung is kidney-shaped lumps, 5 cm or more across, characteristically with a crack across the middle, often loosely stuck together. Dust baths.

Safari Media Africa/C.A. Mitchell 2000-2012

Developed by