Scientific Name

Equus zebra hartmannae

Species Survival Plan



Adapted to sub-desert plains and barren, rocky uplands


Lion and man



Originally Native To

Formerly arid mountain ranges paralleling the coast from southern Angola to the Transvaal of Africa. Mountains bordering the Namib Desert


60 inches at shoulder


Male 750 lb.
Female 600 lb.


Close-set torso stripes, full-leg stripes, no stripes on belly; small dewlap under the chin

Gestation Period

12 months

Birth Season

Any month


30 years

Social Behavior

Single male harems slightly smaller than those of the plains zebra. Rarely do small herds combine to form large aggregations, as opposed to the plains zebra. They are migratory



One of the most significant differences between mountain zebras and the plains species is that plains zebras have 44 chromosomes and the mountain zebras have 32. This is fascinating considering all zebra species, with relatively small exceptions, look and behave in very similar fashion.

The primary visual difference between Hartmann’s and other zebras is the small dewlap under their chins. This species also has some physical characteristics present in the Grevy’s zebra (no belly stripes) and plains zebra (wide stripes).

These zebras have narrow stripes on the neck and torso that widen on the rear. On their white underside, there is a dark stripe that runs the length of the belly. Zebras are white with black stripes, not the other way around.

The Hartmann's mane is short and erect.

In the wild, mountain zebras utilize upland ranges and seek water from springs and rainwater pools. If surface water is not available, they will dig for subsurface water, thereby creating watering sources for other species. They usually drink once or twice per day. 

If unfenced, this species can range more than 62 miles. Even when fenced, they are known to migrate over available range. These zebras are good climbers and have very hard and pointed hooves compared to other zebras and horses.

Mountain zebra form small herds of one adult stallion and 1-5 mares with young. Breeding herds remain stable over many years and mares usually remain in a herd for life. Also, bachelor herds are present and comprised of young ousted males, occasionally young females and old or deposed stallions that have lost their breeding herd.

As with other equid species, zebra can sleep while standing. Mountain zebras are mainly crepuscular – active in the early morning and late afternoon to sunset. A zebra's night vision is believed to be nearly as good as that of an owl. Grazing and resting occupy most of the daylight hours.

Hartmann’s mountain zebras are commonly found at play. Types of play include chasing, racing, play-fighting, and challenge games. Challenge games usually consist of nose-to-nose contact followed by mutual grooming.

At high temperatures, the striped pattern of the zebra may serve as camouflage, an adaptation to the resultant "waviness" of the air. At a distance of a few hundred yards, the stripes make a zebra appear indistinct.

No two zebras are alike – each has a distinct stripe pattern, just like with human fingerprints.

At Fossil Rim, Hartmann's mountain zebras live in the Game Preserve - the fourth pasture you enter. Fossil Rim has been home to Hartmann’s since 2007.


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As a private nonprofit corporation, Fossil Rim does not receive national or state government support. Every cent spent or donated here goes in some way, directly or indirectly, toward the care of our animals.