To become a Zebra

Every one of us has experienced this at least once in their life: You are in your bed, trying to sleep and suddenly your brain reminds you of something you did five years ago when you were younger. Right at that moment, so many thoughts are flowing into your mind. You feel sadness, anger or even depression. These are emotions that we carry with us for many years to come. It may sound silly but Zebras can teach us a little lesson about how they behave in their natural habitat.

This is a story of how I became a Zebra.

The camouflage

The black and white stripes are what Zebras are best known for. They area mesmerizing pattern that not only looks stylish but they are also quitemysterious. Why?


Every Zebra share different kind of stripes on their fur...

...similar to howevery human has unique fingerprints.

same same but different

The stripes act as a camouflage against predators such as lions. Unlikechameleon, Zebras don’t adapt their camouflage based on their background. Theinteresting combination of white and black stripes and a herd full of Zebraswith the same fur pattern, makes it really hard for predators to distinguishone individual from another.

The stripes also act as a protection against biting flies, because theycannot recognize the black and white stripes as a safe landing spot.

Makes me wish I had stripes on during summer....

The Survival instinct

Zebras are social animals and live together in large groups called herds. Very similarto us, they have a family hierarchy. But unlike ours, their family consists of one male stallion with several female mares and the younglings. Occasionally they join other groups to form an even larger herd.

We spend a lot of time being together. During the day we graze together, if we feel like it, we will groom each other. Since wemigrate a lot, we protect each other as much as possible and if we see somebodyhurt, we adjust our movement accordingly!


Zebras have a special response to stress: When they are under threat, they have a certainfight-or-flight response in which they perceive that they are in alife-or-death situation. Their heart rate increases, blood pressure rises –they feel adrenaline.

why zebras don't get ulcers


The Zebra is being chased by a lion. Adrenaline is kicking in, the Zebra is stressed


The Zebra was lucky and survived. The Zebra returns to normal and goes on with his day.

Sounds familiar? - Because it is.

We experience stress in many ways in our life. But unlike Zebras, we are unable to shut down our stress response so easily, because we have fears that exist in our head.

We find ourselves in a constant situation of psychological stress. Prolonged stress is one of the primary reasons why we get sick. We get many things such as heart disease, depression, Insomnia, anxiety, dementia, to name a few.

to become a zebra

Have Courage

Zebras taught me to not being afraid of confronting your predators. Have the courageto stand up for yourself and be brave!


Zebras are also very mutual animals. Which teaches me to never leave someone behind, justlike Zebras who protect and preserve each other.

This way Ican kindle with others who share the same interest as I do and I could learneven more from my peers, the same way Foals learn and adapt to their peers.


Zebras fight-or-flight response taught me that I need to stop overthinking andworrying so much. To let go of the past and focus on the future.

…but most importantly…


Zebras distinctive pattern may seem like they easily appear in the wilderness. While this may be true as a concept, they are excellent at camouflaging within the herd. This teaches me that I can be myself, even if it means that I stand outof the crowd a lot. But as long as you are true to yourself, only this way you will meet like-minded people who will fit in as well.



Animations of Zebras achieved thanks to

the herdhover project — Max Planck institute of animal behavior