Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

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 Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

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

SDZWA Library Links