|“||Zebras. They never know where they're going.||”|
Zebras have black and white stripes that are typically vertical on the head, neck, forequarters, and main body, with horizontal stripes at the rear and on the legs of the animal.
In the Real World
A zebra's main predator is the lion, but since zebras are herd animals, the stripes may help to confuse predators - a number of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large animal, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out any single zebra to attack. Zebras live on the plains, in mountains and in grasslands. Contrary to popular belief, zebras are black with white stripes, as proven by embryonic studies. Zebras and horses are a part of the same Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, and Genus. What separates zebras and horses is that zebras are part of the Subgenus Hippotigris and Dolichohippus, while horses are part of the Species E. ferus and Subspecies E. f. caballus.
In The Lion Guard
Zebras are known for their strategy of panicking and running whenever something scares them, however, not all zebras do so. It seems that they are unfamiliar with thunder. In the past, falling rocks have caused them to run.
According to Thurston, zebras have the best hearing and taste better than any other animals in the Pride Lands.
The Lion Guard
Thurston the zebra serves as a minor character in The Lion Guard and appears frequently throughout the series.
The zebra herd is seen peacefully grazing. Their leader, Thurston, approaches the Lion Guard and talks to them briefly. They direct him back to his herd when he forgets where he was going.
The zebra herd watches the Mashindano between Makuu and Pua. When Makuu later forces the hippos out of Big Springs, it results in the elephants moving to the grazing ground of the zebras, causing the zebras to move into the acacia savannah where the giraffes live.
When Lake Kaziwa floods, Bunga gets the idea of blocking the water with a dam. Thurston the zebra compliments him on his idea. Later, multiple zebras are seen waiting in line to ask Bunga "the Wise" for advice. A few zebras accompany him as he spreads his advice around the Pride Lands. When the dam shatters, the zebra herd is right in its path. Beshte blocks the water the best that he can, giving the herd time to run. Ono accidentally directs them to a dead end, but Kion uses the Roar of the Elders to save the zebras and the other Pride Landers.
A pair of zebras are visible when Ono flies over the Pride Lands to prove that he can still see.
Janja's Clan plots to attack the zebras due to Ono of the Lion Guard losing the sight from one of his eyes. Many zebras are seen as the hyenas envision their plan. When the Lion Guard tries to stop the hyenas, they end up trapped in a ravine, courtesy of Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu. Ono arrives to the Guard despite his
injury, and receives orders from Kion to move the zebra herd. He is unsuccessful in trying to convince Thurston to move, and resorts to diving at them, scaring them into flight. The zebras move to another grazing ground, and Kion is able to use the Roar without hurting them.
A pair of zebras are grazing peacefully when a young zebra named Kwato, a mongoose named Shauku, and an elephant named Mtoto emerge from the grass. Mtoto yells that the hyenas are attacking, and a couple of zebras panic and run, only to crash into each other. All of the zebras, three in all, gather with the other Pride Landers as the Lion Guard arrives on the scene. However, it turns out to have been nothing but Kwato and his friends playing a game.
Later, after Mtoto trains with the Lion Guard, he rejoins Kwato and the others. They begin to play a game and chase some hyraxes through the Pride Lands. Meanwhile, Beshte reassures Thurston and some other animals that they are safe from hyenas, but Thurston is annoyed by the fact that they have to run from hyenas frequently despite living in the Pride Lands.
Once Kwato and his friends finish their game, they are attacked by Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu. As Beshte continues speaking to the group of animals, Thurston is still uncertain of his safety, declaring that zebras taste better than any other animal in the Pride Lands and that the hyenas are aware of this, but a giraffe is skeptical of his claim. Suddenly, Kwato, Shauku, Kambuni, and Gumba arrive, reporting that Mtoto is being chased by hyenas. Thurston doesn't believe this, but Gumba is insistent, and Beshte goes to help. After Beshte saves Mtoto, Kion presumably gives Kwato and his friends the Mark of the Guard.
As Bunga experiments with Rafiki's staff in the Lair of the Lion Guard, he touches it to a painting of a zebra herd, then to a painting of falling rocks. Soon, Ono flies into the Lair, announcing that the zebras are stampeding. Kion decides to stop the zebras before they hurt someone, and the Guard heads out.
As the zebras stampede, with the Lion Guard running alongside them, Bunga notices some rocks ahead that are trembling and realizes that they look just like the ones in the painting, as do the zebras. Ono notices these too, and Beshte pushes the zebras, causing them to change directions so that when the rocks fall, the zebras are not hurt. Fuli slows them down, assuring them that they're safe now. Kion and Fuli question Thurston about the stampede, and he reveals that they heard a loud "boom", which scared them, so they did what they always did when something frightened them: panicked and ran. Ono figures that the herd was scared by thunder, and assures Thurston that the storm has passed. He then leads the zebras back to their grazing grounds. A female zebra thanks him, and the herd begins to graze.
Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu lurk nearby. Janja plots to attack the zebras, and together the trio sings Panic and Run, which focuses on zebras and their first choice of defense. They then attack the zebras, who promptly panic and run. Ono fetches the rest of the Guard, who drive the hyenas away. However, when Ono counts the herd, three zebras are at Maji Baridi Falls, separated from the herd. The Guard sets off to find them, but when they reach the trio- consisting of the female zebra, Thurston, and a foal- Beshte accidentally bumps into a rock, which frightens the zebras, causing them to panic and run right into a river, which sweeps them over the Falls. Kion uses his Roar of the Elders to blast the water back and save them.
Back at the Lair, Rafiki reveals that Bunga had watched the paintings backwards, and that sometime in the past, falling rocks had caused zebras to run.Pride Rock.