The enemies of the African zebra include African lions, hyenas, African leopards, African wild dogs, cheetahs and man. African lions are quite capable of killing a full grown African zebra, but generally, they only kill the weak, old, sick or young zebras. Ths African zebra’s main defense against lion attacks is it’s ability to run away. African zebras can run between thirty to forty miles per hour.
African zebra’s also have the ability to kick a potential predator with a deadly force that gives even the hungriest predator some pause before taking on a health zebra. The weak, sick, old and young zebras are another matter, however, without the speed or strength of a healthy African zebra these individuals are not only taken regularly by lions, but also by hyenas, leopards, African wild dogs and cheetahs.
The African zebra is a significant prey animal and food sources mostly for African lions and hyenas, but the other predators do take them occasionally. During the famous seasonal migration between the Serengeti plains and the Maassai Mara National Reserve, migrating zebras also end up on the menu for the nile crocodile and sometimes, even the African hippo.
Inspite of these natural predators, the most lethal enemy of the African zebra is man. Man hunts the African zebra for it’s hide, but he also kills the African zebra in other ways. As man expands his cattle lands and fences off water sources for his cattle the African zebra losses habitat and the African zebra populations decrease.