Watch This Zebra Speed Past This Lion And Throw Him Off His Back

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: November 25, 2023

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Common Zebra, Equus burchelli, kicking up its heels, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, Africa
© Joe McDonald/

When we think of a pride of lions hunting one loan prey, imagining prey getting away scot-free is challenging. However, animals in the wild have become masters of defending themselves and knowing how to outsmart their predators. Let’s watch what this lone zebra does in the clip above. 

Intense Zebra Chase in Kenya

The short YouTube clip at the top of this blog post takes us to Kenya, Africa, where we see an intense zebra chase. This video was filmed and shared by the Banok Safaris YouTube page. This channel is a safari tour. They are dedicated to providing an authentic experience of what life is like on the vast open plains of Kenya.

Lion Chasing Zebra

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Male lions weigh between 330 and 570 pounds when fully grown, but some individuals exceed 600 pounds!

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At the start of the video, shown at the top, this safari tour has stopped. They know a zebra speeding through this pasture as if riding a Ferrari. As he is running, he runs smack dab between three lions. These lions had been lying in wait, setting a trap for him. 

The zebra plows right through two of the lions, essentially busting the gate wide open. The third lion attacks and leaps on the zebra’s back. The zebra is determined not to be this pride lunch, and he shakes the lion off, and we see him thrown to the ground. The zebra takes off, using this shock to get away. 

How Fast Can a Zebra Run?

Zebra (Equus quagga) of the genus Equus is found throughout Africa. These animals are no small mammals. They can weigh anywhere from 380-1,000 pounds and reach anywhere from 6.5-9 feet in length. 

Their size doesn’t stop them from being able to run fast, as we can see in the video at the top. According to the BBC Wildlife Magazine, “Zebras are very speedy animals, and can reach speeds of up to 65kph when galloping across the plains.” Sixty-five kilometers per hour is approximately 40.39 miles per hour. 

These bursts of speed help them appropriately escape predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. However, they aren’t always successful in getting away. Sometimes, these predatory groups can band together and place the perfect trap that zebras can’t escape. However, in the case of this trap set in the video above, this zebra could outmaneuver it quite well. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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