The distinctive black and white stripes of the zebra sharply contrast with the scorching, dry Etosha landscape. Only about four feet tall at the shoulder, the zebra (Equus burchelli), is the short-legged, striped member of the horse family. Common throughout the deserts and grasslands of eastern and southern Africa, many zebra herds live close to Etosha's watering holes.
In the same way that no two humans have the same fingerprint, no two zebras have the same stripe pattern. Their unique stripe patterns help keep herds together in close-knit groups. Their stripes are also used to confuse predators, camouflaging zebras within a herd. Herds also mingle with wildebeests, ostriches, and antelope while they graze, and even come to depend on them as additional protection against predators.