Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra)
- It has 2 subspecies, the Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra), found in the provinces of Western Cape and Eastern Cape in South Africa, and the Hartmann's mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae), found in Namibia and Angola.
- The average lifespan of this species of zebra is 25 years. While mares attain sexual maturity after two years from birth, stallions have to wait up to six years to become sexually matured.
- The mare gives birth to a foal after the gestation period of 12 months. The offspring is able to stand, walk, and even run shortly after its birth.
- After the ten month weaning period, males leave the group and lead an independent life or join a group of males.
- Their hard, pointed hooves make them very good mountain climbers, using which they can easily make it to high-altitude areas.
- They require a high intake of water daily. They can dig into the ground with their pointed hooves to obtain water.
- When there is scarcity of food and water, they migrate in search of the same. Though, they are only seen in groups of 4 or 5, a herd of 100 to 200 zebras is a common sight near waterholes, especially during periods of water scarcity.
- They usually don't gather in large herds. Instead, they have small families consisting of a stallion (male) and few mares (females) with their offspring.
- Like horses, zebras sleep in a standing position. One member of the family stands guard, while the others sleep, to look out for hungry predators.
- Carnivores, like lions and hyenas, are the major predators of this species.
- The two subspecies of the mountain zebra are not known to crossbreed, as their territories do not overlap.
Initially, mountain zebras were found across the entire length of the mountain range running parallel to the western coast of Africa, but large-scale hunting and loss of habitat has pushed them onto the verge of extinction. Some serious steps need to be taken to ensure that this endangered animal doesn't become extinct.