Cape Mountain Zebra

The Cape Mountain Zebra is one of the rarest mammals in the world. Cape Mountain Zebras have a slightly smaller body than their close relatives. Mountain Zebras associate in small groups. Two types of groups can be distinguished, namely family groups and bachelor groups. A family group consists of a mature stallion and between one and five mares (usually two or three) and their offspring. Those stallions that cannot obtain mares associate in loose bachelor groups. The members of a family group normally stay together for many years.

Cape Mountain Zebra feed mainly on grass, the red grass, Themeda triandra, and other climax grasses such as finger grass, Digitaria eriantha, and terpentine grass, Cymbopogon plurinodis, being particularly favoured. The height of grass is important – the zebras favour grasses between 50 and 150 mm in length. They will accept forbs and dwarf shrubs, but only during dry periods when grass is scarce.

A mare can give birth to her first foal when she is three years old. However, many mares are five or six or even older when they foal for the first time. Stallions are probably sexually mature at three years of age, but competition from older and stronger stallions normally prevent them from obtaining mares until they are at least five years old.

Foals can be born any time of the year but the majority is born during the rainy season (November to March).

The Cape Mountain Zebra lives approximately 25 – 30 years. Most deaths occur during the driest time of the year, (July to September) when food is scarce and poor in quality.