Welcome to Lincoln Park Zoo’s new web app! Share your feedback

Plains zebra in exhibit

Plains Zebra

Regenstein African Journey

Did You Know?

  • Zebra coats are as unique as fingerprints. Each of the three zebra species has its own general pattern, and each individual has its own pattern.
  • It remains unclear what the benefits of stripes are. Some scientists suggest they are a form of camouflage, making it difficult for predators to distinguish individuals in a herd, or distorting distance at dawn and dusk. Others believe the stripes protect against insects that recognize only large areas of a single fur color, or that they act as a natural sunscreen.
  • Plains zebras, also known as common zebras or Burchell’s zebra, are the most numerous species of zebra, with six subspecies.

Don’t See the Animals?

Why aren’t animals visible at all times? To promote positive animal welfare, we provide animals with choices. They can choose to spend time in areas that are out of public view.


Take an Animal Home with You

Visit Gift ShopShop Online


Scientific Name: Equus quagga

Class: Mammals

Diet: Grass (also, leaves)

Range: Eastern and southern sub-Saharan Africa

Endangered Status: Near Threatened

More Information

Plains zebras average 3.5–5 feet and may weigh up to 990 pounds. They have distinct black and white stripes. They live in family groups consisting of a stallion, mares, and their juvenile offspring. Groups have their own home ranges but may join large herds year-round. These zebras are heavy migrators, traveling long distances based on resource abundance. Different populations travel various distances depending on the part of Africa they live in. Some take part in the Serengeti migration, one of the largest animal movements in the world.

Plains zebras live in nearly all habitat types in Africa, although they are missing from rainforests, deserts and dune forests. Their populations are decreasing due to demand for their meat and skin, along with man-made barriers that disrupt migration.

Hold Camera Steady with QR in focus.

We need permission to use your camera for QR codes.

Having Trouble?

Find code numbers below QR codes at exhibits and animals.