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Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding

Diet

Vegetarian

  • Grass is primary food
    • Can not digest protein-rich grasses, such as alfalfa
    • Use same habitats as Burchell's Zebras at Samburu-Buffalo Springs Game Reserves in Kenya (Rubenstein 1989)
      • Female Grevy's forage where vegetation is not abundant, but is variable; range widely
      • Female Burchell's Zebras forage where vegetation is denser; are somewhat sedentary

Water

Water requirements

  • Better adapted to dry conditions than domestic cattle (MacClintock 1974; Estes 1991; Churcher 1993)
    • Need less water
    • Can thrive on coarser grasses than cattle
      • Typically bite off grasses instead of pluck
    • Can eat browse when grass is gone
  • Lactating female more dependant on water than others (Ginsberg 1989)
    • Need to drink water daily
  • Dig subsurface water in times of drought
    • Use hooves to paw at the ground; an individual will defend these drinking places (Estes 1991; Churcher 1993)

Grevy's Zebra

two Grevy Zebra running

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Churcher (1993)
Estes (1991)
Ginsberg (1989)
MacClintock (1974)
Rubenstein (1989)

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