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Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) Fact Sheet: Summary

Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) Fact Sheet

Grevy's Zebra standing

Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical Characteristics

Describer (Date): Oustalet (1882)

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Perissodactyla

Family: Equidae

Genus: Equus

Species: E. grevyi

Body Weight: about 400 kg (882 lb)

Head/Body Length: 2.5-3.0 m (8.2-9.8 ft)

Tail Length: 55 cm (22 in)

Pelage: Narrowly spaced black and white stripes.

Distribution & Status Behavior & Ecology

Range: from southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya

Habitat: arid, wooded and bush-covered grasslands and stony plains

IUCN Status: Endangered (2016 assessment)

CITES Status: Appendix I

Populations in the Wild: about 2,000 mature individuals

Locomotion: trot, gallop, and walk.

Activity Cycle: Active day and night; spend about 50% of time grazing; prefer to drink in the morning.

Social Groups: No herd system; female with young create sole lasting bonds.

Diet: Eat grasses, typically those low in protein. Consume more browse in times of drought.

Predators: Mainly targeted by lions; also leopards, spotted hyaenas, hunting dogs, and cheetah.

Reproduction & Development Species Highlights

Sexual Maturity:  Males mature about 6 years of age while females begin to reproduce at 3-4 years.

Gestation: 390 days; the longest period of any horse species.

Litter Size: 1

Birth weight: 40 kg (88 lb)

Age at Weaning: about 7 months

Typical Life Expectancy:
Managed care: median life expectancy of about 11 years for males and 16-17 years for females

Feature Facts

  • Subtle variations in a zebra's stripes allow each individual to be recognized.
  • Evolutionary origin traced to North America
  • Currently distributed in arid regions of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya
  • No herd system or permanent social bonds between adults
  • Better adapted to dry conditions than domestic cattle
  •  A San Diego Zoo conservation project, begun in 2004, helps support Kenyan Samburu pastoralist families who have set aside and protect 128,500 acres of prime Grevy's habitat in their homeland.


About This Fact Sheet

© 2010-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor update May 2015. IUCN red list update 2016.

How to cite: Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) Fact Sheet. c2010-2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. grevyszebra.

(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

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