What Does a Zebra Eat?

zebra-eat Credit: Barbara Eckstein/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Zebras are herbivores and eat mostly different types of grass, but they also eat bark, herbs and shrubs. Zebras prefer full green grass that is short and near the ground.

The common Zebra is called “Equus burchelli” and can also eat dry and rough grass like red oat grass. Other grasses zebras eat include Cenchrus ciliaris and Cynodon catylon. There is some variation in the diets of different types of Zebras as well. Grevy’s zebra eat very coarse grass that many other animals in the horse family can’t digest at all. Grevy’s zebra also eats highly fibrous grasses with tough textures like Eleusine jaegeri. Because Grevy’s zebras live in dry areas, they often eat local foliage and bark if it’s too dry for grass to grow. The mountain zebra eats mostly tufted grass. They like Themeda triandra grass in particular, but they also eat many other types as well. Certain types of zebras might eat fruit, shoots, buds, corn stems and the roots of plants. Zebras also need to drink water daily in order to survive. Due to their diets, zebras mostly live on or near grasslands. They do a considerable amount of grazing during any particular day. Zebra populations tend to decline around areas where people convert their grassland into farmland.