Cheetahs vs Zebras? It is often asked what do Cheetahs eat, does Zebras make the list? Cheetah, being a large predator, is known to hunt many wild animals. Zebra is not weak prey or damsel in distress, they fight back as well with a strong kick. Now, the question arises, what happens when the two biggest contenders of the wild come face to face.
Wild is a cruel place, every animal marking their territory, and protecting their herd. It is not easy to hunt as attacking one animal is often passed off as attacking the herd. Fight for dinner and survival ends up in a bloodbath. Cheetahs and Zebras are the most dangerous animals, very alert and responsive towards predators.
Zebras are members of the family Equidae which makes horses and donkeys their cousins. No other animal on the planet has a bold, distinctive coat like Zebra.
Zebras like to stay in a herd or groups, mainly a small family consisting of a male stallion, several females, and young foals. Zebras, being native to eastern and southern Africa live in a variety of habitats such as savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, shrublands, and mountainous areas.
Being the fastest land mammal, the Cheetah is a dangerous predator of the wild that outruns and outsmarts most prey species. The large cat is native to Africa and Central Iran that runs at a speed of 80 to 128 km/h. (Source) With such speed, the hunt is over in less than a minute. Cheetah is capable of scaring prey with his deadly looks, featuring a small, rounded head, short snout, and black tear-like facial streaks.
Now coming back to the subject of can cheetahs kill Zebras, many people want to know about the Cheetah-Zebra interaction, and what Cheetah takes on hunting Zebras.
Can Cheetahs Eat Zebras?
Goggle is flooded with questions like do Cheetahs eat Zebras? Can Cheetahs Kill Zebras? and the likes, but no concrete answer is available to resolve this query. Well, the answer to these questions is yes, cheetahs can eat zebras, It should come as no surprise, deadly as Cheetahs are, they feast on Zebras meat and blood.
Being carnivores, Cheetahs like meat to be on the menu daily. Not many animals are saved from the wrath of Cheetahs, they outsmart even the most intelligent species with their hunting strategies. Zebras are no exception, they are on Cheetah’s ‘hunt list’ along with several other animals.
Zebras are aware of the dangers of the wild, therefore, they remain alert of the surroundings but the big cat is good at hunting, also, it is known for its surprise attacks.
It is also hard for the Zebras to match up to the Cheetah’s power and eventually give in. You may have come across some images and videos where Cheetahs can be seen eating Zebras. You might see them hunting Zebras live in many National Geographic Programs.
Do Cheetahs Kill Zebras?
Yes, but it can be a bit of a hassle for them as Zebras are taller in size and bigger in build. However, Zebra’s size may not be turbulent for them always as they are capable of hunting bigger animals like giraffes and buffalos. Cheetah likes to hunt and kill juvenile animals as they are easy prey and can be killed with little effort.
Cheetahs are well aware that they may be hunted down by these large predators. Once they see any member of the herd being attacked, they circle the wounded Zebra to drive off a predator.
Do Cheetah Chase Zebras?
Cheetah may eat and kill Zebras, but they are counted among the least wanted prey for Cheetah. They would usually go for smaller animals and easy targets to hunt than Zebras. Sometimes zebras swim in the water to prevent the attack.
If there is nothing to eat, or they find an ill, helpless, or injured Zebra then Cheetahs will chase, hunt, and kill it. However, it is not often that they chase Zebras for a hunt. Tanzanian Cheetahs prey on large animals than other Cheetahs.
Do Cheetahs Eat Baby Zebras?
Yes, Cheetahs often kill young Zebras. Baby Zebras, being strayed from the herd may become dinner for the Zebras. Baby Zebras are smaller in size and naive, it is easier for cheetahs to make them a target.
Cheetahs hunt baby Zebras alone without any help from the fellow large cats. For adult Zebras, Cheetah has to chase and hunt them down in groups. If the adult Zebra is ill, injured, old, or does not have much fight left in him, Cheetah alone is enough to take him down. For healthy Zebras, Cheetahs work together in a coalition.
Do Cheetahs scavenge Zebra carcasses?
If meat is available, Cheetahs will take it with a smile and Thank You. They will hustle off the Carcass before the aggressive predators like Hyenas and lions.
Often, before Cheetahs reach the crime scene, many contenders are already there to take possession of the body. Carcasses are usually taken by large animals, vultures, and hyenas. They are rarely available for the Cheetahs, but if it is available, they will not hesitate to eat it.
Frequently Answered Questions
Do Cheetah Hunt Zebras?
Yes, they hunt Zebras along with wildebeest and gazelle. With their lightning speed and wit, Cheetahs likely have a higher chance of getting a kill.
What Animals are predators of the Zebra?
Some of the famous predators of Zebras are African lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, spotted hyenas, and Nile crocodiles.
What Do Cheetahs Eat?
Cheetahs like to chase, hunt, and kill younger animals weighing no more than 23 to 56 kg (51 to 123 lb). Cheetahs feast on impala, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, blesbok, reedbuck, duiker, springbok, sable antelope, waterbuck, bat-eared fox, hartebeest, oribi, kudu, steenbok, bushbuck, nyala, and roan antelope. want to know more about what do zebras eat?
They rarely hunt large animals only when they see a victory.
In brief, Cheetah, being one of the largest predators of the wild, loves to feast on Zebras. As long as there is meat (flesh), they will fight, scavenge, hunt, kill for it. Though less so often, Cheetah prey on large Zebras, baby Zebras are their priority.