Can you eat zebra?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat zebra?” and discuss where to get zebra meat?

Can you eat zebra?

Yes, you can eat zebra. Burchell’s zebra, the only zebra species that may be legally grown for its meat, is now available for purchase at Health regulators say that zebra meat can be marketed in the United States, but it may still be difficult to locate. It’s not something you’ll see every day, and it’s not something you’ll see many people doing.

In South Africa, many people consume game meat, such as giraffe, waterbuck, bushbuck, duiker, including mountain zebra meat, although the mountain zebra Equus zebra is an International Union for Conservation of Nature red listed species. The mountain zebra E. zebra suffered from severe reduction in population size in South Africa (2) and therefore it should not be hunted and consumed as game meat.

As far as meat animals go, Zebras aren’t as common as cattle, goats, and sheep. These are usually seen in zoos or in the outdoors since they are wild creatures. Farming zebras is not possible because of their hostile nature and difficulty in training.

If the meat is edible or lawful to eat, it may surprise the consumer. Because zebras can not coexist peacefully with other animals, they cannot be farmed for meat consumption on a commercial scale.

Zébra meat may be eaten by humans, provided that the animal has died and been properly prepared. The Burchell Zebra from South Africa is the only one of the three Zebra breeds that is suitable for human consumption.

Because the number of these animals is already at an all-time low, it is strongly recommended that you avoid eating them. As far as meat goes, stick with what you know best. Zebra flesh is a rare delicacy that can only be found in a few places.

People don’t consume zebra meat very frequently since it’s difficult to get and few farmers raise it for human use. Zebra hindquarters are the sole part of the animal that may be eaten; the rest of the animal is thrown away.

Historically, Cape mountain zebra had a widespread distribution in the mountainous Fynbos, Karoo, and grassland regions of the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and portions of the Northern Cape Provinces of South Africa. However, by the 1950’s, as a direct result of hunting pressure and habitat loss, Cape mountain zebra experienced a 90% reduction in its geographic distribution and were reduced to less than 50 individuals in a few relict populations, inhabiting the most inaccessible parts of the subspecies’ range (1).

What’s the Deal with Eating Zebra?

The taste of zebra flesh fascinates some individuals because they want to know what it is like. But it is more often ingested for its health benefits than its flavor. Lean and robust, with a low-fat level, it has a powerful texture. Fitness enthusiasts will love it because of its low-fat content (0.5g per 100g) (3).

With high quantities of protein, zinc, and iron as well as B and omega-3 fatty acids, it is the ultimate source of nutrients. According to studies,the overall aroma intensity of zebra meat had a strong positive correlation with a game-like aroma and flavour, liver-like aroma, metallic aroma and flavour, fatty aroma, and sweet associated taste (3).

Zebra parts that can be eaten

Zebra steaks and burgers are only two of the numerous recipes that can be found on the internet. The zebra’s rump is commonly used to make steaks. It’s possible to get your hands on other sections of the animal, such as the loin or ribs or shanks or fillets depending on the cut. Carcass tissue distribution measurements are interrelated with the sensorial quality of meat which indirectly influences the quantity of meat cuts that will be acceptable according to consumer preferences. The carcass yield of a zebra is on average of 140 kg (3). 

Is It Legal to Eat Zebra?

Zebra meat is forbidden to eat in the United States, and it is very difficult to obtain. It is banned in many nations other than the United States to consume zebra flesh, with the exception of India, Eastern Africa, and China. Plan a vacation to a place where the meat is consumed instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for it.

Zebra Meat by Other Names

In addition to African Zebra and Cape Zebra Meat, zebra meat is referred to as Zebrasoma, which is a combination of the first two. The names African Zebra and Cape Zebra come from the continent of Africa. There are several different types of Zebrasoma, including fish and meat.

Do You Know What Zebra Meat Is?

Because of the high quantities of iron in Zebra’s blood, its flesh has a sweet and gamey flavor (3). Compared to horse meat, zebra meat has a milder flavor.

It’s impossible to tell the difference between the two after they’ve been cooked, even though they taste quite different while they’re raw. As a replacement for horse meat, it is often used in numerous dishes.

It might upset your stomach if you eat too much of it. One of the most flavorful and tender exotic meats on the market. The main meal or an appetizer, it’s up to you! Take little bits because of the toughness of the texture, which requires a lot of chewing.

A study showed that plain zebra meat had a desirable fatty acid profile, as the PUFA:SFA ratios (0.7) and n6:n3 PUFA ratios (1.5) were within the recommended guidelines, as well as a low intramuscular fat content (1.7-2.2 %). Findings of this study indicate that extensively produced plains zebra meat can be considered as a healthy red meat alternative (3).

Is Zebra Meat Expensive or Cheap?

Zebra meat is one of the rarest and most costly foods in the world, making it difficult to get. The price of a pound of zebra flesh is astronomical because of its rarity. A third-world country imports it for consumption since it’s prohibited in the United States.

Individuals may be forced to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars only to get one pound of beef. Some illegally-sold items are sold at a higher price than the true cost.

Zebra Meat: Where to Find It

Getting your hands on this delicacy isn’t as simple as you may think. No, humans aren’t natural predators of zebras, therefore you can’t simply go to the butcher and purchase some to make some burgers or steaks from.

Zebra meat is not readily available in many major cities. However, zebra meat may be ordered online and delivered to your door by various online exotic meat shops. The meat is typically exported to the European Union.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat zebra?” and we discussed where to get zebra meat?


  1. Kotzé, Antoinette, et al. Lessons for conservation management: Monitoring temporal changes in genetic diversity of Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra). PloS one, 2019, 14, e0220331.
  2. D’Amato, Maria Eugenia, et al. Where is the game? Wild meat products authentication in South Africa: a case study. Investig gen, 2013, 4, 1-13.
  3. Henn, Angelique. Meat quality characteristics of the plains zebra (Equus quagga). Diss. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University, 2020.