Grevy's Zebra

You might think you've walked onto the set of the film, Last of the Mohicans, when you see our Grevy's Zebras.

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That's because their eye-catching mohawk manes are very dramatic looking. All those vertical black and white stripes, might leave you boggle eyed too.

No two are identical. Each zebra has a different pattern of stripes to any other. Plus, just to single them out even more, Grevy's zebras have narrower stripes than other kinds of zebra.

They're named after 19th century French president, Jules Grevy. He was given one as a gift by the emperor of Abyssinia, which is what Ethiopia was once called.

Ours are on the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, a carefully managed scheme overseeing the breeding of zoo animals in different countries. That means from time to time zebras may be moved from zoo to zoo to breed.

In February 2014 we were delighted that first-time mum Nadine gave birth to baby foal Merida, the first Grevy's zebra born here in 34 years.

In the wild Grevy's Zebras live in Kenya and Ethiopia but there are so few left that the future of their species is now endangered. It's important for their survival to increase the population and set up conservation projects.

Zebras can run at up to 40mph and they travel large distances in the wild too.

We have two female Grevy's zebras here in Chester, Nadine who came from Marwell and Florence who came from West Midlands Safari Park in 2015, along with male Mac from Whipsnade in 2007. See if you can spot the differences in the pattern of their stripes.

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Facts & Info

Interesting facts

Where they live: Kenya and northeast Ethiopia

Habitat: Dry, semi-desert grasslands

Size: Length (including tail): 250-275cm

Shoulder height: up to 160cm

Weight: Up to 450kg

Threats: Habitat loss due to increased agricultural development. Competition for grazing land and water with domestic farm animals. Hunting for its hide.

Species Information

Scientific name Equus grevyi
Order Perissodactyla
Family Equidae
Genus Equus
IUCN status Endangered
Roles in the zoo


Interdependence: This species helps demonstrate that all living things, including humans, live in ecosystems and depend on other living things for their survival.

Human Impact: This species helps demonstrate that human activities are causing serious environmental damage.

You! This species helps demonstrate that we can all make changes to help the environment and zoos can help inspire people to do this.