How Much Does A Zebra Cost?

Last Updated on December 9, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Due to their unique appearance, zebras are animals that are impossible to confuse. Their striped pattern has turned them into muses for fashion designers and real targets for crowds visiting zoos.

The zebra is a species that belongs to the horse family and is distinguished by its distinctive black and white stripes. The stripes appear on each individual in unique patterns. Zebras are animals that live in harems.

Unlike their Equine relatives, horses, and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.

They can be found in a variety of habitats: plains, savannas, areas with forests, hills, and mountains.

The origin of the zebra is unknown. Assumptions are made that they come from England, Italy, Portugal, etc. What is certain is that the Latin name is “Equiferus” which means wild horse.

How Much Does A Zebra Cost?

The average cost of a zebra can vary anywhere between $3,100 and $7,100. However, the price of zebra for zoo purposes is anywhere between $4,300 and $5,800. Like with any other animal, these costs will depend on the condition and age of the zebra, with young male zebras costing slightly more.

If you want to buy zebras, It is important to remember that it is legal in some states in the United States to be a zebra owner only if you donate it to zoos and wildlife conservatories.

Owning a pet zebra is not for everyone as this is an exotic animal that can not adapt to any type of environment; plus the costs to raise such an animal are pretty high. It is illegal to own an exotic pet such as a zebra as a private individual.

Can you domesticate a zebra?

In general, zebras resisted all domestication efforts. They probably could not be tamed because of their aggressive nature – the same trait that allows them to survive on the plains of Africa.

And so, we come to one of the most interesting curiosities about zebras: the eccentric zoologist Lionel Walter Rothschild (1868-1937), the second Baron of Rothschild, managed to train some zebras and harness them to his carriage, thus walking through London.

But Rothschild realized that zebras were not suitable for riding and that other domestication efforts were useless.

Is it legal to own a zebra?

If you want to purchase a zebra, the following lines will be important to you as you will find out if are allowed to keep a zebra or not.

You might also like our articles about the cost of alpacas, giraffes, or camels.

There are states where the citizens are not allowed to own zebras, rhinoceroses, tapirs, or other exotic animals.

However, some states don’t have any law restrictions against wild pet ownership such as Wisconsin or West Virginia. This means that in these states you will not need any kind of permission from the state government to legally own a pet zebra.

Where from to purchase a zebra?

As there is only a small number of people in the world who are thinking about owning a zebra as a pet, it will be a real challenge to find sellers, dealers, or traders for wild animals.

The real cost of owning a zebra comes after the initial purchase, so most people think twice before deciding to buy a zebra.

Most traders avoid selling these wild animals as the maintenance costs increase year by year.

However, if you want to buy a pet zebra it is recommended to search online for sellers. But, expect to pay a high price for the delivery as well. In most situations, the shipping fees are as high as the cost of the exotic animals for sale.

How much does it cost to adopt a zebra?

Zebra CloseupAnother way to get a zebra is through adoption. In case you see that a zebra is getting along with other animals, then it would be a good idea to get that zebra. The zebra adoption will be allowed by most organizations.

You will learn about how to take care of a zebra during the adoption process. The zebra you have adopted will not see you as a threat; on the contrary, you may become friends.

Adoption is for those on a budget, as the adoption fee is only around $100. This is a better way to gain experience in taking care of zebras.

The costs of raising a zebra

As you might expect, you should consider some other costs besides the initial price if you want to own a zebra.

The maintenance costs for zebras can get high compared to other exotic animals. You should consider the price of the food, like grass and other vegetation, water, and housing as well.

The feeding cost for zebra

The zebra’s diet consists almost entirely of fodder it will graze on, but it may occasionally eat shrubs, plants, branches, leaves, or bark.

Their digestive system allows them to survive on diets of lower nutritional quality than other herbivores.

You can choose to buy plant-based food from the market or even buy land with good pasture. The feeding costs may get high as you will have to feed the zebra every day.

The housing costs for zebra

You will need plenty of space if you want to own a zebra as these animals need to stay outdoors and don’t like to stay in a closed space. Expect to spend anywhere between $820 and $1,100 for a good 8-feet fence. Take into consideration also the repair costs as the zebras tend to break the fence.

The veterinary care for zebras

It is recommended to periodically go for vet check-ups to keep the zebra’s health in good condition and avoid any huge medical costs in the future. Plan on spending around $220 for every vet visit.

Factors to take into consideration before buying a zebra

It will be hard to choose the perfect zebra as the cost will depend on every characteristic of the animal.

The initial cost will be influenced by factors like gender, age, species (the two most popular species of zebras are the plains zebra and the mountain zebra), health, and genetics of the animal.

Be sure you purchase the zebra from a reputable breeder, with a history of delivering healthy animals.

Don’t be attracted by the low price of a zebra because you may have to spend a lot of money on vet visits.


Before buying a zebra make sure you get all the necessary information about the costs, living conditions, and state laws. It would be a good idea to know something about zebras before spending around $5,500 on this animal.

You can learn about what it means to take care of a zebra through adoption. This may help you in deciding to buy a zebra as a pet.

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