HerbivoreWhat Eats

What Eats Zebras?

What Eats Zebras? What Do Zebras Eat?

What Eats Zebras? Zebras are big, horse-like creatures that live in Africa. Their most distinguishing feature is the black and white stripes that cover their body. Zebra stripes, like fingerprints, are unique to each zebra. 

Zebras face various predators, including humans, lions, tigers, cheetahs, hyenas, and crocodiles. Zebras reside in packs known as harems to help defend themselves against potential assailants. They are herbivorous animals.

If a zebra senses a predator attempting to assault the harem, it will defend itself and alarm others with a high-pitched call. The zebra will occasionally take a stand against the predator.  It will drop its head and assume a position where it may bite the attacker. However, in most cases, the zebra will run with the rest of the pack when given the option.

In this article, we will learn more about the natural predators of Zebras!

What Eats Zebras
What Eats Zebras


You would be surprised to know that our first pick for the top predators that hunt, kill, and eat Zebras are humans. Yes, you heard it right. Humans have harmed zebra populations not just by killing for their pelts, but also by fragmenting their habitat. They are their bigger enemies than lions or cheetahs. Humans are expanding farming. This encroaches on the zebra’s habitat and natural food balance.

In some wild communities, they hunt and eat zebras as their part of daily routine. They do not have access to food resources as well because they are in dense forests away from the cities. That is why, they hunt for what they can. They kill the zebras and eat them whenever they need them.

Furthermore, The illicit and illegal wildlife trade increases the danger to zebra populations. Poachers hunt zebras for their flesh, skins, and other body parts. Their hunting is controlled and driven by market demand. The higher the demand, the more they kill zebras.

Despite all the conservation efforts and rules in place to preserve these creatures, the illicit trade thrives runs this business with the help of local mafias. 

What Eats A Zebra
What Eats A Zebra


Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animals. They are mainly carnivores in nature. They hunt alone or in packs. When they hunt alone, they often target impalas, gazelles, and baby zebras. When they hunt in groups, they can take down an adult zebra. 

Cheetahs exhibit remarkable hunting strategies. The agility and acceleration they possess allow them to perform high-speed chases over short distances with precision.

Cheetahs rely less on their sense of smell and more on their acute eyesight and speed. The fast speed of cheetahs enables them to chase their prey. Then they directly attack the neck of the zebra, which results in breaking the spinal cord.

A lone cheetah may not be able to capture an entire mature zebra. They usually attack small zebras on injured ones when alone. But when in packs, they hunt together. 


Leopards are carnivorous animals. They mainly depend on the animals around them that are placed under them in the food chain pyramid. Zebras are one of them. They live in the same habitat. That is why, they encounter it many times. This overlap makes zebras a suitable meal opportunity for leopards.

Leopards prefer to hunt alone. Its diminutive stature, however, prevents it from bringing down an adult zebra in excellent condition. The leopard usually kills smaller mammals, but it will also attack young, wounded, or unwell zebras. Leopards then feast on the recent capture. These fierce animals kill a zebra in no time.

Leopards’ extraordinary stealth and agility make them especially adept at ambush hunting. They are used successfully against zebras and other animals. They employ deep forest and darkness to approach their prey undetected, 

After a successful hunt, leopards will pull their prey up into the trees to protect it from scavengers and other predators. This activity demonstrates the leopard’s power and versatility, which allow it to flourish in a variety of situations alongside difficult prey like the zebra.


The spotted hyena has a varied and successful hunting strategy, particularly when pursuing prey like zebras. Unlike cheetahs, who hunt in single or small groups, hyenas hunt in highly organized packs. In a single pack, there may be up to 100 hyenas. This number is enough to bring several zebras at the same time.

Moreover, spotted hyenas use their numbers and strategic cooperation to isolate and overpower their prey. This group mentality not only allows them to take on larger and more powerful creatures,


Nile crocodiles are the top predators in their aquatic habitats. This is due to their massive size and power. Their existence in rivers and lakes is crucial for managing populations of many species and maintaining a healthy environment. 

When zebras and other animals visit water sources to drink or cross, they must avoid the threat of these crocodiles, which are masters of stealth and patience. Crocodiles will frequently lie in wait, half submerged, seeking the ideal opportunity to execute a surprise assault, grabbing their victim with their formidable teeth and pulling it underneath.

This predatory habit has serious consequences not only for the target species but also for the health of the waterways. Crocodiles assist in controlling some animal populations. In addition, their eating patterns help to maintain the nutrient cycle in these aquatic habitats. 

The demise of bigger animals, such as zebras, contributes organic matter to these water systems, which supports a diverse spectrum of aquatic species. Thus, the crocodile’s role as a predator goes beyond its direct influence on prey species, impacting larger ecological processes and contributing to habitat variety and productivity.

African wild dog

Two Zebra Standing on the Ground
Two Zebra Standing on the Ground

The African wild dog is endangered, yet it may still be found in parts of central Africa. These tiny pack predators hunt in groups of 6–20. They have good numbers in their pack, and they attack large animals such as zebras. A big group can kill an adult zebra easily. 

These dogs are natural hunters. They know their way around these zebras. They utilize the power of their pack and attack from different positions. With each bite, the zebra loses more power. At last, when zebra lose enough blood and strength, they go hunting and eat it. 

A large population of zebras will bring problems to society. It is necessary to maintain balance one way or another.


Zebras, with their remarkable black and white stripes, confront predators on the African savannah and beyond. We need to protect our entire lives at any cost. This is because they are our heritage. They help maintain green lands and ecosystems.

Zebras have developed a variety of protection measures. It includes their social structure and the capacity to notify one other of threats. It demonstrates the delicate balance between predator and prey. 

This dynamic affects not just zebra survival choices, but also the ecological balance within their environments. 

As for what a zebra eats, zebras are grazers.

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