The passage of time has seen the disappearance of many species and the appearance of other. Natural disasters, illnesses and human intervention were the most common causes for causing different species to go extinct. The disappearance of the dinosaurs is most famous, being studied even today. The famous dodo bird, that received a place of honor in the book “Alice in Wonderland,” was hunted until extinction. Another animal that went extinct two centuries ago is the Quagga.
The Quagga is a subspecies of zebras that lived in South Africa until the 19th century. Although it was long believed to be a different species on its own, geneticists found proof that the Quagga was in fact a southernmost subspecies of plains zebra. It was native to the desert areas of Africa until it began being hunted after the Dutch settled in the area. In the 1870’s the animals were fully exterminated in the wild. By the 1880’s the last Quaggas had died in captivity as well. As the term quagga was previously used for all types of zebras, the extinction of this particular subspecies was discovered long after its disappearance.
The Quagga was a brown zebra with white legs and tail. Its pattern was limited, spanning only a part of its body, from its head to the edge of its neck. The lower part of the body was bereft of any stripes, making it resemble a horse more than a zebra. It is believed the animals lived in herds of about 30 to 50 individuals. However, very little is known about its behavior and habits.
In 1987 a project was developed in order to try bringing the Quagga back to this world. The scientists wish to breed the southern plains zebras selectively, in order to try and reobtain the Quagga subspecies.
Did you know the last Quagga died 132 years ago, on 12 August 1883?