What Eats Zebras? (8 Predators with Pictures)

Examples of animals that eat zebras include African wild dogs, cheetahs, humans, leopards, and lions.

Despite their striped coats, zebras are not particularly well-camouflaged against predators. Several animals are known to prey on zebras, including lions, hyenas, and wild dogs. Cheetahs will also hunt zebras, though they typically go for easier targets like Thomson’s gazelles.

Zebras are also preyed upon by crocodiles and leopards in some areas.

What Eats Zebras

The harsh reality is that, in the wild, zebras are not always at the top of the food chain. While they may be able to outrun many predators, they can’t outrun them all. This means that it’s always important for zebra herds to be aware of their surroundings and stay together as a group. By sticking together, they can minimize the chances of anyone zebra being singled out by a predator.

Despite the risks, zebras are an important part of many ecosystems. They play a crucial role in the food web, and their numbers help to regulate populations of other animals. By eating zebras, predators help to keep these animals’ populations in check. This, in turn, helps to maintain balance in the ecosystem. So while it’s sad to see a zebra being preyed upon, it’s also an important part of the natural world.

Examples of Animals that Eat Zebras

1. African Wild Dogs

Scientific NameLycaon pictus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangesouthern Africa and the southern part of East Africa (especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique)

According to the San Diego Zoo, African wild dogs are one of the main predators of zebras. These animals typically hunt in packs, which gives them a significant advantage over their prey. African wild dogs are fast and agile, and they can run up to 44 miles per hour (70 kilometers per hour). This makes it very difficult for zebras to escape.

When an African wild dog pack is hunting, they will first try to drive the zebra herd into a confined space. Once the zebras are corralled, the pack will single out one zebra and chase it down. The rest of the pack will then surround the zebra and bite it repeatedly until it dies. African wild dogs will also eat other animals, such as antelope, but zebras are their preferred prey.

A single African wild dog can consume up to two pounds (one kilogram) of meat in a single sitting. This is a relatively large amount of food, especially when compared to other predators such as lions. African wild dogs typically hunt once every three days, but they will eat more frequently if they are able to find a large supply of prey.

Despite their hunting habits, African wild dogs are considered to be endangered animals. There are estimated to be only about 4000-6000 of these animals remaining in the wild. This is due in part to the fact that they are susceptible to diseases such as rabies and distemper. In addition, African wild dogs can be killed by humans who are afraid of them or view them as a threat to their livestock.

2. Cheetahs

Scientific NameAcinonyx jubatus
Type of AnimalMammal
Rangeeastern and southern ranges of Africa south of the Sahara Desert

Cheetahs are the only big predator that typically hunts zebras during the daytime. These animals are very fast and can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (112 kilometers per hour). This makes them a formidable opponent for zebras.

Zebras have developed several ways to protect themselves from cheetahs. One of these is to form a group called a harem. A harem is a group of females that are closely related and stay together for protection. Another way zebras protect themselves is by running away. They can run very fast but can’t outrun a cheetah. If a cheetah catches up to a zebra, the zebra will use its powerful kicks to try to injure the cheetah.

Cheetahs are also threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. They need large areas of open land to hunt effectively. However, their habitats are being destroyed as humans encroach on their territory. This is making it harder for cheetahs to survive.

3. Humans

Scientific NameHomo sapiens
Type of AnimalMammal

While not technically a predator, humans are still a major threat to zebras. Zebras are hunted for their meat and hides, and they are also often killed in collisions with vehicles. In some areas, they are also threatened by poaching.

Poaching is a serious problem in many parts of Africa, where zebras live. Poachers often kill zebras for their meat and hides. In some cases, they also sell the zebra’s body parts on the black market. This illegal trade is a major threat to the survival of the species.

4. Leopards

Scientific NamePanthera pardus
Type of AnimalMammal
RangeAfrica, parts of the Middle East, and Asia, including China, India, and eastern Russia

Leopards are another predator that preys on zebras. These animals are very stealthy and can climb trees to get to their prey. They are also very fast and can run up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour). This makes them a serious threat to zebras.

Leopards are opportunistic hunters and will eat whatever they can find, including other predators’ kills. They are also known to scavenge on carcasses. Leopards are found in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

There are around 10,000 to 12,000 leopards left in the wild. Although they are not considered to be an endangered species, their populations are declining.

5. Lions

Scientific NamePanthera leo
Type of AnimalMammal

Lions are another predator that commonly hunts zebras. These animals typically work together to bring down their prey, and they can kill a zebra with ease. Lions are especially dangerous to zebras because they often go after the young and the elderly members of herds.

While lions can be a threat to zebras, the animals have developed some strategies to avoid being killed. For example, zebras will often form groups with their young ones in the center so that the lions can’t single them out. They also use their stripes as camouflage to make it harder for the lions to track them down. Despite these adaptations, zebras still sometimes fall victim to lion attacks.

6. Nile Crocodiles

Scientific NameCrocodylus niloticus
Type of AnimalReptile
Rangesub-Saharan Africa, the Nile Basin, and Madagascar

Crocodiles are known to kill other animals for food, including zebras. These animals are very powerful and can kill their prey with ease. They are also very fast in the water, which gives them an advantage over zebras. Zebras are aware of the danger that crocodiles pose and will often try to avoid them. However, sometimes the zebras are not able to escape and end up being killed by these predators.

7. Spotted Hyenas

Scientific NameCrocuta crocuta
Type of AnimalMammal

Hyenas are another major predator of zebras. These animals are very efficient hunters, and they can eat zebra’s flesh in minutes. Hyenas are also known to scavenge off of the kills of other predators, so they can be a danger to both live zebras and carcasses.

Hyenas will typically attack zebras from the rear, which allows them to avoid the zebra’s powerful kicks. If a zebra is able to get away, it will usually run towards a herd of other zebras for protection.

8. Vultures

Scientific NameCathartes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAsia, Africa, and Europe

One of the bird’s animals that eat zebras is the vulture. These scavengers can be found all over Africa, and they rely on dead animals for food. Vultures are particularly attracted to the smell of rotting flesh, so they will often feed on carcasses left by lions and hyenas. Zebras are an easy target for vultures because they are often killed by predators or die of the disease.

Read Also: Do Zebras Migrate?


There are many animals that eat zebras, including lions and hyenas. These creatures have evolved to hunt the zebra down for food because it is a common prey animal in Africa. Zebras can be found all over East Africa, from the plains to the forests. If you’re ever on safari, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these magnificent creatures being hunted by their predators.

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