Sunday, August 24, 2014

Grevy's Zebra

There are three species of zebra: the Grevy's, the plains and the mountain zebra. The Grevy's zebra is endangered with an estimated 2,500 of them left in the wild and 600 in captivity. They are only found in small pockets of Ethiopia and Kenya, with most of them living in northern Kenya. We saw them in Buffalo Springs National Reserve and Shaba National Reserve. 
Grevy's zebras in either Buffalo Springs or Shaba NR. Photo by Michael Lewin.
Photo by Steven Shuel
Photo by Steven Shuel
It is the largest wild member of the horse family. It can get to over five feet high at the shoulder and weigh almost 1,000 pounds. It is more mule-like than the other two species of zebra. It has a large head, long, narrow, elongated nostril openings, ears that are large, rounded and conical and a short, thick neck. It has a tall, erect mane and stripes that are narrow and close (although broader at the neck), extending to the hooves. However, unlike the other zebra species, the stripes do not extend to the belly or the area around the base of the tail. Foals are born with brown and white striping and the brown stripes darken as they grow older. 
I love the striping on the face and the large, rounded ears. Photo by Esmee Tooke.
The stiff, erect mane contains the stripes and the stripes continue under the jaw. The stripes are wider on the neck. Photo by Mark Edwards.
An almost mohawk looking mane on the head. The stripes on the crown of the head look like they were done by a tattoo artist. Photo by John Mirau.
Small, closely spaced stripes on the leg and much large bandwidth on the chest. Photo by Mark Edwards.
The intersection of the torso with the legs has some fun striping. Photo by Esmee Tooke. 
Another look at the transition from vertical stripes on the torso to horizontal stripes on the back legs. The inside of the rump is white and the tail has some spots, but not extensive stripes. Photo by Judy.
The stripes do not continue to the belly, they just fade into oblivion. Photo by Judy.
A solid black line continues a good distance down the tail and white inside the thighs. A thick black line goes down the back with a good sized white margin on either side. Photo by Judy.
It was named by the English naturalist Emile Oustalet in 1882, after Jules Grevy, the president of France, who was given one by the government of Abyssinia, which is the historical name for Ethiopia.  
Photo by Mark Edwards
Photo by Steven Shuel. Note the Grant's gazelles in the background.
We actually saw herds with both Grevy's and plains zebras together although I don't have any good pictures of them. The Grevy's zebras were one of my favorite animals from the trip. I love their striping and their big ears.
We always loved when we could get multiple animals in a picture.  A desert warthog is in the background. Photo by Michael Lewin. 
Steven Shuel captures not only the desert warthog, but the Grant's gazelles.


  1. I love these zebras--they are like the more delicately, intricately, beautifully, crafted cousin of the plains zebra

  2. Those big ears are wonderful, and the delicate stripes all the way down the legs to the hooves are haute couture.