What do zebra eat?

Zebras are herbivores and their diet primarily consists of grasses, leaves, twigs, bark, and roots. Here are the key points about what zebras eat based on the provided search results:


  • Zebras feed predominantly on grasses, herbs, shrubs, leaves, twigs, barks of trees, and roots123. Grass makes up around 90% of their diet
  • They are grazers and can digest grass within 24 hours due to their adaptable digestive system2.
  • Zebras spend about 18 hours a day eating to meet their energy needs from the low-nutrient diet23.
  • When leaves and twigs are exhausted, they use their hooves to dig up roots2.

Types of Zebras

  • Plains zebras eat a wide variety of grasses, leaves, and small young trees3. They inhabit savannas without trees.
  • Mountain zebras consume grasses, leaves, and bush plants3. They can be forced to browse when grass is limited in their mountainous habitats.
  • Grevy's zebras are mostly grazers, feeding on grasses and leaves in the semi-arid grasslands and acacia savannas they inhabit3.

Water Needs

  • Plains and Grevy's zebras need to drink water daily2.
  • Mountain zebras can survive up to 3 days without water2.
In captivity, zebras are fed grass hay supplemented with alfalfa, pelleted feed, and mineral salt blocks, similar to feeding horses but with limited grain5.
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