Just because they live in big herds with the rest of their family doesn’t mean that plains zebras feel lost in a crowd. Although they all have black and white stripes, no two zebras look exactly alike. Each one has its own unique pattern that allows zebras to recognize each other and their babies, called foals, even if it’s hard to see. However, zebras do use their similar stripes to confuse their predators. When they stand in a large group, it can be hard for a lion to tell how many zebras there are, or even where one animal ends the next one begins!
Zebra families are very protective. They usually guard their foals from danger by placing them in the middle of the herd and will even walk slower so that young, sick, or old zebras won’t get left behind when the herd travels. Male zebras, called stallions, will also walk at the back of the group in order to help protect others from danger. Using his powerful kicks is a zebra’s best defensive attack. If anyone sees a hungry lion or hyena, the zebra gives a loud bark to warn its family to run away.