Zebras are fascinating animals. And if they’re one of your favorites too, you will surely like to learn more about them, even if it is about their poop.
These prey animals live in the African Savannas and enjoy being a part of the herd, where they can socialize and feel safe. They also cannot be domesticated due to their wild and unpredictable nature.
But what about their poop? Is there something different about a zebra’s poop? Does it have stripes just like their fur?
Yeah, it may seem like a weird question, but zebra poop is actually quite interesting. And no, it does not have black and white stripes, but you can surely tell a lot about an animal by looking at its poop. And that’s what we will talk about in this article.
If you like zebras, keep reading because we’ve featured some cool facts about zebra poop, what they like to eat, and more.
What Does Zebra Poop Look Like?
Zebra poop is quite similar to most herbivores in the animal kingdom. It looks like medium to small-sized round droppings that can also be square at times. There are several small droppings instead of one big piece, resembling small rocks.
Their droppings are also on the harder side as compared to cows. It can have an almost black color, but it can also be dark brown, depending on their diet. But if you were to find zebra poop, how would you identify it?
The main thing you’d see in healthy zebra poop is traces of the grass they’ve eaten. Zebras also poop a lot and leave what are called “poop piles”. These can look like little towers of poop and may reach up to 15 inches tall.
Unlike goats, who leave their poop scattered, zebras leave these piles on their territory. Of course, zebra poop is also quite stinky because it’s poop, after all!
What Does a Zebras Diet Consist Of?
Zebras are herbivores that enjoy a leafy green diet. Their primary source of food is grass, which they graze on all day. Animals belonging to the Equus family mostly graze on food rather than eating a large amount.
Apart from grazing, zebras are also known for chewing cud. This is the process of regurgitating the grass they’ve eaten and chewing on what’s left over. Zebras are also known to eat bark and leaves in the wild.
Other than food, zebras can also drink a lot of water. In fact, they are known for drinking up to a gallon at a time! They get their water from ponds and watering holes available in their habitat. Drinking a lot of water at a time is one reason their poop is the right consistency and texture, and is excreted in several small droppings.
Zebras also have hard teeth that allow them to chew their food well. Their teeth are made up of several layers of keratin. Their teeth are pretty sharp, so if you’re planning to keep a zebra as a pet or domesticate one, beware because they can bite!
Can Zebra Poop Help Spot Them Easily?
We’ve talked about what zebras eat, but do they get eaten as well? As we all know, zebras are prey animals. Their main predators are hyenas, lions and crocodiles. Humans are also known to hunt down zebras during hunting adventures.
But can zebra poop be a way for their predators to find them? Although not confirmed, poop can be a good way for predators to find zebras. Predators like lions usually use their senses and vibration to help find their prey.
Since zebras leave poop in piles, it could help lead the way towards their herd. It is a common misconception that zebras can use their stripes to camouflage themselves. Studies show that this still doesn’t keep their predators away.
Lions can easily see the outline of a zebra and attack. However, zebras run in a zig-zag pattern when chased to make hunting challenging. This not only helps them run faster but may confuse their predators.
What Can We Tell about Zebras by their Poop
When it comes to zebras, their poop can help us know about their health status. Any abnormalities indicate either the animal is sick or in pain.
Stress levels can also change the way a zebra poops. Believe it or not, constantly being chased by predators can raise a zebra’s stress levels and affect how their poop looks, just like humans.
Some other factors that can affect their poop are a change in diet, a change in weather, or less water consumption. Zebra poop can tell us much more about this species than you’d think. Scientists study zebra poop to determine if an area has a healthy animal population.
Since these unique animals are becoming endangered, studying their poop is a good way to know common health problems that are causing the zebra population to decrease significantly in certain parts of the world.
Difference Between Horse and Zebra Poop
Zebras and horses both belong to the Equus family. They may be very different, but they are also similar in many ways. These animals have the same build as well as a similar face shape.
But horses tend to be way taller and stronger than zebras when it comes to height and strength. They have also been bred for centuries to be used for riding. Zebras, on the other hand, cannot be domesticated due to their wild nature.
But when it comes to similarities, they both have the same diet. So is their poop the same as well?
Like zebras, a horse’s poop mainly depends on its diet. Their poop is called manure, and it looks like bigger zebra droppings. Horse poop can often look like round balls or even little lumps.
The colors and texture of their poop change according to what they eat. If a horse’s diet consists mainly of hay, their poop will be drier. Horses that eat beets and carrots may have a reddish hue to their poop.
Since horses are bigger animals, they can easily produce 50 or more lbs of poop a day, much more than a zebra. On the other hand, zebras depend on the available sources in their habitat for their diet. And therefore, they can have the same diet without much variety, so their poop mostly remains the same.
Can Zebras Get Gut Issues
While zebras can get stomach problems, they are known not to get ulcers. Stress is the main reason why species like humans get ulcers. Constant stress hinders the human body’s healing process.
But zebras get stressed too, so why don’t they get ulcers? This is because their fight-or-flight response works as a temporary mechanism. After they escape from their prey, their stress level goes back to normal.
They always stay alert, but the response only kicks in if predators are nearby. Unfortunately, humans are not as lucky. They tend to stress out all day. We stress even after the dangerous or annoying situation has passed by, overthinking about the upcoming problems.
These stressful situations can eventually lead to ulcers, which zebras are free of. However, their stress levels do show up in their poop. And that’s why research is carried out to learn more about these unique animals. For normal people, it is just zebra dung, but for scientists, their poop is an extensive field of study.
Almost every species on this beautiful planet poops. A zebra’s poop is a good indicator of their health, diet and even age. Scientists study their poop to help find ways to keep the zebra population from declining.
Studying their poop can help wildlife conservationists relocate animals if they are in danger. Zebra poop is useful in another way as well. Since it is harder, it can also be used as fuel.
In fact, places like Detroit zoos use animal poop to generate electricity. We hope this article teaches you everything you need to know about zebra poop.