Difference Between Zebra and Donkey

Zebra vs Donkey

Identifying a zebra from a donkey would be an easy task for anyone, as the two different body colourations of those animals make it difficult to confuse. However, it would be hard to find some knowledgeable people who could list down some important differences between zebra and donkey, in addition to the colourations. Therefore, following the presented information in this article would be helpful for anyone to know the important differences and characteristics of these animals.


Identifying a zebra would never be a problem, as their famous black and white stripes are unique for them. However, these stripes making it difficult to spot them from a distance in the wild, as those appear like forests, which functions in confusing the predators through illusion and camouflage. This is indeed a fascinating adaptation for predator avoidance in wild. Because of the difficulties in training, domestication of zebra has not taken place. Presently, there are three distinct species of zebra known as Mountain zebra (Equus zebra), Plains zebra (Equus quagga), and Grevyi’s zebra (Equus grevyi). However, all three species are about the same size; the average height measures around 1.3 metres, and the weight is about 350 kilograms. Zebras are exclusive to Africa, and they inhabit the savannah grassland ecosystem usually. These African savannah animals are unique among themselves as the striping pattern changes among individuals. Their tail hairs originate from the distal end of the tail. The mane of zebras is not prominent, but they have a black colour muzzle. A healthy zebra has about 25 – 30 years of lifespan in wild and it could go up to late thirties in captivity.


Donkeys originated in Africa and later spread throughout the world. Interestingly, they vary in their size and colour Depending on the breed. They have characteristic ears, which are long and pointed. Between the top of head and withers, there is a series of hair through the crest, which are slightly longer than the hair on the rest of the body except in the tail. Donkeys prefer to live a solitary life but not in herds. They can grunt loudly, which is known as braying to communicate with other individuals. It is interesting to know that the dry matter weight of about 1.5% of their bodyweight is required for a day as food for one animal. Donkeys have been very beneficial for man as a great draft animal. Carrying cargo and guarding the sheep are amongst the main works that the donkeys have been doing for humans. There is evidence since 3000 BC about domesticated donkeys. Usually, the average lifespan of a donkey varies from 30 to 50 years.


What is the difference between Zebras and Donkeys?

• Zebras have black and white stripes all over the body while the colourations are different among donkeys and there are no stripes.

• Zebra is exclusively found in African savannahs while donkeys are not confined to Africa but in many other places, as well.

• Zebras are larger and heavier compared to donkeys.

• The nose is always black in zebra but not always in donkeys.

• Donkeys are easy to domesticate and obey commands while zebras could never be domesticated

• Donkey can live longer; up to 50 years, but zebra can live up to maximum late thirties even in captivity.

• Donkeys have characteristically long and pointed ears while those are usual equine ears in zebras.

• There are three species of zebras while there are many breeds of donkeys.