What Do Zebras Eat? (Zebra Diet and Favorite Food)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What do zebras eat?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what zebras eat in nature, then get a list of a zebra’s favorite foods that make up a typical zebra diet. And finally, answers to common questions about zebra feeding habits and nutrition.

Zebras are African equines with distinctive black-and-white striped coats that share the genus Equus with horses and asses. A zebra is part of the Equidae family under the Perissodactyla order and is a strict herbivore with a plant-based diet.

What Do Zebras Eat
What do Zebras Eat - Zebra Diet in ...
What do Zebras Eat - Zebra Diet in the Wild and Captivity

What Do Zebras Eat?

Zebras eat grass primarily and sometimes leaves, shrubs, twigs, and bark when grass is scarce in the environment. A zebra’s diet is determined by the availability of vegetation in its habitat.

Zebra Diet (Favorite Foods)

  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Shrubs
  • Bushes
  • Bark
  • Shoots
  • Herbs
  • Roots
  • Fruit

How Often Does a Zebra Eat?

A zebra often spends up to 18 hours a day feeding in the wild through grazing of grass, but a zebra in captivity eats about once a day when food is disbursed by zookeepers.

In this video posted by Zoo Animals, zebras constantly eat throughout the day to maintain their digestive systems. Plus, zebras in the wild typically eat grass that has little nutritional value so they must eat more often to survive.

How Much Do Zebras Eat Per Day?

Zebras eat 1.5-2.5% of their body weight per day which is about 15-20 pounds of food for an adult zebra. A zebra has a single-chambered stomach that uses a process called hindgut fermentation to digest food daily.

How Long Can Zebras Live Without Food?

Zebras can live up to three days without food and five days without water. A large herd of zebras will migrate up to 700 miles to find food and water in better grazing pastures.

Do Zebras Eat Fruit?

Zebras do eat fruits because they are strictly terrestrial herbivores. However, in the wild, zebras only feed on fallen fruits while a zebra in captivity will eat fresh fruits like apples. 90% of their total diet is grass.

Do Zebras Eat Meat?

Zebras do not eat meat and are strict herbivores. A zebra’s teeth and jaws are designed to crush rough plants but not tear into flesh. Additionally, a zebra’s stomach cannot digest meat because it uses hindgut fermentation to digest plant-based food.

Do Zebras Eat Insects?

Zebras do not eat insects or bugs of any kind because they are strictly terrestrial herbivores that only eat plants.

What Animals Eat Zebras ?

Zebras are prey to a few different species.

You can visit our other guide on what animals eat zebras to find out which predators actively feed on these mammals.

Zebra diet

Zebra Eating Habits and Diet Summary

You now know what do zebras eat in the wild as well as the typical food in a zebra’s diet.

As you discovered in this guide, zebras are herbivores that eat vegetation for nutrition with a zebra’s favorite food being grass and sometimes feeding on things like leaves, shrubs, twigs.