What Do Zebras Eat

What Do Zebras Eat

Did you know that zebras are actually the wild relatives of horses and donkeys? These animals are well-known for their gorgeous white and black strikes. The elaborate stripes are important because they help the zebra to blend into its natural environment.

In this environment, a haze occurs over long distances, and the stripes help the zebra to blend in with the haze, so it’s able to avoid becoming prey. The African savanna can be a dangerous place for zebras, so they need all of the defensive mechanisms that they can get.

Wild zebras prefer to eat several different foods. Since they live in such a harsh climate, zebras have a unique digestive and metabolism system, so they’re able to consume grasses and plants that have little nutritional value.

These are the same foods that many other herbivores wouldn’t be able to live on because they don’t have the special digestive bacteria in their stomach like the zebra.

Wild zebras tend to eat mostly long, flowering grasses, like the Red Grass. This is one of the most dominant types of grass in the savanna, so there is plenty of it to go around. Zebras also like to eat common finger and Bermuda grass, which can be found along riverbeds.

When they’re available, beans and legumes are on the zebra’s menu. The wet season is a particularly great time for these animals because most of its food sources become plentiful.

However, when grass food sources become scarce, the zebra might be forced to consume figs and the bark from shrubs. Bark actually has almost zero nutritional value, but the zebra’s unique digestive system is able to utilize the minimal nutrients and turn almost nothing into something.

Mountain Zebras

These are actually endangered animals, and they live in South-western Angola, South West Africa and Namibia. These animals prefer plateaus and slopes, and in some cases, they live up to 2,000 meters above sea level.

These animals love to eat roots, fruit, leaves, bark and tufted grass. When they need water, they’ve been known to dig into the ground to get it.

Plants and Other Foods

The three species of zebras are herbivorous, so you can always find them eating some sort of plant or grass. They also eat herbs, leaves, shrubs and tree bark.

You can find most zebras hanging out in Africa, and they’re easy to spot because of their black and white stripes. Mountain zebras can be quite picky because they’ll eat their favorite types of grass while ignoring the rest. However, if these food sources are scarce, they can adapt and consume other food sources.