Selous's zebras look a lot like Damaraland zebras, but the 'shadow' stripes are usually very faint. Unlike Damaraland zebras, their legs are striped to the hooves. A plains zebra.
The May/June 2000 issue of African Wildlife, journal of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), features an article on the Selous zebra. The authors of the article, Paul and Sheila Dutton, write that Mozambique 's endemic Selous zebra is quickly heading for extinction. This subspecies has clean black-and-white banding without the brown shadow stripes found in the Plains zebra. Once common in the central Sofala Province of Mozambique, Selous zebra are now scattered in small isolated groups in Gorongosa National Park and the Marromeu Delta.
According to the Duttons, the Selous zebra population totalled more than 20 000 thirty years ago. However, their numbers have been reduced to fewer than 50, according to the latest aire and ground surveys carried out during Oct/Nov 1999.
The Duttons state that most of the open plains ungulates like the Selous zebra were shot for meat up until the peace accord was signed between the Frelimo Government and Renamo forces in 1994. Another set-back for the Selous zebra and other species of the Marromeu Delta was the damming of the Zambezi River at Cahora Bassa which prevented periodic flooding which once revitalised the floodplain and made poaching more difficult.
Their recent surveys have alerted the Mozambique wildlife authority to the plight of this highly endangered animal which, until 1999, was hunted by safari operators in the Sofala Province . They believe that, apart from providing urgent protection for the zebra, there needs to be an holistic management plan to address the deterioration of the the entire Marromeu wetland ecosystem.