Zebras are one of Africa’s most easily recognizable animals with their distinctive striped coat. Each animal's stripes are as unique as fingerprints, with no two exactly alike. The black and white stripes are a form of camouflage called disruptive coloration that breaks up the outline of the body. Although the pattern is visible during daytime, at dawn or in the evening when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting true distance.
Three species of zebra still occur in Africa. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's, also known as the common or plains zebra. The others are the Grevy's zebra, found mostly in northern Kenya and the mountain zebra, found in southern and southwestern Africa.
Zebras live in small family groups consisting of a male (stallion), several females, and their young. These units may combine with others to form awe-inspiring herds thousands of headstrong, but family members will remain close to the herd.
Zebras are important prey for lions and hyenas, and to a lesser extent for hunting dogs, leopards and cheetahs. When a family group is attacked, its family will come to its defense, circling the wounded zebra and attempting to drive off predators.