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Cape Mountain Zebra

Equus zebra zebra

The Cape Mountain Zebra is a smaller, and much rarer, cousin of the better known plains zebra. It occurs naturally only in the southern provinces of South Africa and is considered vulnerable, though the population is increasing in size thanks to dedicated conservation work at especially the Mountain Zebra and Karoo National Parks, both of which offers an excellent chance of seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.

Mountain Zebras occur in small family groups of up to 15 animals, led by a dominant stallion, while young stallions roam around in bachelor groups after being ejected from the groups they were born in. Adults of both sexes are extremely protective of their young.

Mountain Zebras inhabit, as their name suggests, dry, rocky, mountainous areas and the surrounding plains and valleys (the latter being important as hiding places against cold weather). They are almost exclusively grazing animals and can stay without water for up to three days, though they prefer to drink daily if surface water is available.

Mares give birth to a single foal at any time of the year. With an adult weight of around 250kg and shoulder height of 1.25m, the Cape Mountain Zebra is slightly smaller than the plains zebra.