A hungry crocodile tosses a zebra carcass, ripping off chunks of flesh with its jaws. The reptile devoured its meal in the Sable Dam in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, as wildlife photographer Lisl Moolman looked on. Picture: Lisl Moolman/Greatstock/Barcroft Media
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra belong to the subgenus Hippotigris, but Grévy’s zebra is the sole species of subgenus Dolichohippus. The latter resembles an ass, to which it is closely related, while the former two are more horse-like. All three belong to the genusEquus, along with other living equids.
The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such asgrasslands, savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills. However, various anthropogenic factors have had a severe impact on zebra populations, in particular hunting for skins and habitat destruction. Grévy’s zebra and the mountain zebra are endangered. While plains zebras are much more plentiful, one subspecies, the quagga, became extinct in the late 19th century – though there is currently a plan, called the Quagga Project, that aims to breed zebras that are phenotypically similar to the quagga in a process called breeding back.