Animal Corner — Zebras

Zebras are more than just “horses with stripes.” These animals are native to Africa, ranging from Kenya and Ethiopia to South Africa and Namibia. There are three types: plains, Grevy’s, and mountain. Of these three, plains zebras are the most common with six subspecies. Their coat helps keep them cool in the hot African heat, dispelling the majority of the sun’s rays.

A zebra’s stripes do more than simply make them look unique and fantastic. Their stripes protect them from predators and bugs. In the long grasses, the stripes make it difficult for predators to see them and hunt. Their patterns are hard for bugs to see, keeping flies at bay. Similar to a human fingerprint, no two stripe patterns are the same from zebra to zebra.

What also keeps zebras safe is their tendency to stick together in large herds. When they’re grazing or drinking water, they tend to huddle up in these vast numbers. The high amount of zebras makes it challenging for predators to zero in on just one to hunt. Their immense speed helps them too. Many can reach up to 40 mph.