What Do Zebras Eat?

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All three species of zebras are herbivorous and mostly eat grasses. Zebras also feed on shrubs, leaves, bark and herbs.

All three species of zebra feature black and white stripes and live in Africa. The plains zebra and the mountain zebra resemble horses, while the Grevy’s zebra is related to the ass.

Grevy’s zebras live in semi-desert areas. Tough grasses form the bulk of this endangered zebra’s diet. They also eat plenty of leaves, which can sometimes form up to 30 percent of their diet.

There are two types of mountain zebra: Cape mountain zebras, which were almost hunted into extinction in the early 20th century, and the Hartmann’s mountain zebra. They both eat a few types of grass, ignoring others. Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon plurinodis and Setaria neglecta are a few varieties they prefer. During the summer months Cape mountain zebras, found only in South Africa, regularly visit mineral licks.

Plains zebras, or Burchell’s zebras, are the most common zebra in Africa. They live throughout southeast Africa with some living as far north as Ethiopia and others as far south as South Africa. Plains zebras’ diets consist almost entirely (90 percent) of short grasses like Themeda triandra, Cenchrus ciliaris and Cynodon dactylon. The rest of their diet is comprised of herbs, twigs and leaves.