Grevy’s zebras live in herds consisting of a stallion (male), mares (females), and foals. The zebras’ stripes offer the herd a kind of camouflage known as disruptive coloration. This means that instead of blending into their surroundings, zebras all blend together in a predator’s eyes so that the attacker cannot tell where one zebra ends and another begins. Unable to pick out one zebra to target, the predator may not attack. When the herd stops to rest or eat, there is always one member who remains alert to watch for predators. Male foals leave the herd between 1-3 years of age and join a bachelor herd until they are old enough to start their own herd (usually around 5 years of age).
Distribution: Arid and semi-arid grassland and shrubland in Kenya and Ethiopia, from the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley to the Tana River.
Diet in the Wild: Usually grass and shrubs, though they will browse on tree leaves in overgrazed or drought-afflicted regions.
Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Grain and alfalfa
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered, population stable
Threats: Habitat degradation and increased competition from livestock grazing, disease from unvaccinated livestock, local hunting practices
Conservation strategies and habitat restoration efforts have both reduced competition stress on Grevy’s zebra populations from grazing livestock and improved local attitudes towards the zebras through involving locals in conservation efforts.