How Fast Can a Zebra Run?

Updated June 13, 2017

Zebras are strong, beautiful creatures, and are fast runners. When it comes to hunting or surviving a predator, its running speed can mean the difference between life and death.

Running Speed

According to the American Museum of Natural History, zebras can run as fast as 40mph when measured for maximum speeds over approximate quarter-mile distances.

Body Structure

Zebras have horse-like bodies with long limbs that account for their great speed. They kick hard with their hind legs and run in herds.


Zebras must be constantly wary of their predators such as lions and hyenas. Their running speed is an adapted ability in the wild to outrun those who hunt them. The zebra's stripes can confuse its predator by making it appear indistinct and distorted from afar, and also during movement.


A zebra's average lifespan in the wild is 25 years.

Size and Weight

A zebra's height and weight has plenty to do with its running speed. Typically, they average 3 1/2 to 5 feet in height at the shoulder. Their weight ranges from 200 to 449kg.

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About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.