What Sound Does A Zebra Make? (+ What They Mean)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Zebras make different sounds; they can be snorting, backing, or baying.

In the African landscape, you will see the presence of zebras in abundance; they hang around in herds and sometimes super packs for survival when migrating.

Zebras are usually entirely focused solely on munching their grasses.

The noses that zebras make are fundamental to their social interactions; some of their sounds are close to what a horse would like, but this is nothing surprising as they belong to the same family.

The sounds made by a zebra may signify several things ranging from greeting, curiosity, impatience, anger, alertness, etc.

Depending on the pitch and intensity of the sound, each sound of a zebra has a function to communicate with individuals within a herd or the herds themselves.

Some Sound Zebra Makes and Their Explanations

What Sound Does A Zebra Make
  1. Zebras Barking
  2. Snorting
  3. Braying
  4. Nicker

1. Zebras Barking

Zebra barks for several reasons; they vocalize a high pitch tip or barking sound to communicate with each other.

The barking of a zebra stands for greeting; it is used to say hello to a new member that just joined the herd or get the attention of a herd’s member’s mate.

This barking carries over a long distance to keep a pack together.

2. Snorting

Snorting can stand as a friendly greeting given by a zebra; it can also stand for a warning given to a new member of the herd that is welcomed; it all boils down to the context.

It is a short, sharp burst of air through the nostril with the mouth closed.

A zebras snort may also stand for excitement, but you can best interpret it using their body language, such as the position of the ears, the height and angle of his head, and if he is rolling eyes or not.

3. Braying

The zebra’s braying is the most common form of long-distance communication between zebras;

It can be used when they are in search of a mating partner;

It is an essential sound since the male and female do not most time travel together and needs to find each other when it is time to mate; apart from using it to communicate with their mate, braying is also used in covering their impatience, it starts from a low growl that progresses steadily and becomes louder and very high pitched.

4. Nicker

The Nicker is a soft blow through both nose and lips to create a shuffle sound; the nicker is mainly reserved for members of the herds they are familiar with and do like; it is used as a greeting.

Here is an article I wrote on do zebras migrate?

Do Zebras Make a Sound When Hungry?

It is not stated if Zebras make sounds when hungry in any particular articles I have come across; zebras make various sounds for various reasons, and hunger is not one of those.

They either give a Neigh which is a two-syllable alarm call in response to predators, a drawn-out breathy grunt of satisfaction called a Nicker, a drawn outcry from a young zebra in distress known as a wail.

When bitten or hurt a short high, pitched yelp from male zebras, a loud snort when moving into potentially dangerous tall grasses or under bushes that may most likely hide predators, and a contact call made by zebras to members of the herds or when looking to mate called the bray or the bark.

There has been no mention of zebras making sounds when hungry.

Also heck out this article I wrote on do zebras eat leaves

Do Zebras Make a Sound to Attract a Mate?

Yes. Zebras make a sound called bray to attract a mate; the braying sound is used almost exclusively when zebras want to reproduce.

Bray also advertises territorial status; it sounds like the sound of a donkey but with a broader range; as earlier stated, it is used to call a mate or a friendly companion to express anger or frustration.


A zebra’s stripe comes in a unique pattern solely unique to each individual, and the lines are a deterrent from hitting flies.

Zebras can be found in different habitats, such as the Savannah, woodlands, grasslands, shrublands, and mountain areas.

They are primarily grazers and can substitute on poor quality vegetation as well; their primary predator is the lion; they flee when they feel threatened and also bite and kick to defend themselves.

As they are different in their species, they are also different in social behavior.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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