Q is For Quagga

Now, I haven’t seen one of these curious plains zebras despite being dragged all over east and southern Africa by my parents to this game reserve and that. However, I have seen many a zebra, and giraffe and rhino and elephant and leopard and lion and all kinds of buck. You name a wild African animal and I’ve probably seen it.

Back to the quagga. Of course I wouldn’t have seen one of them: they’re extinct. The only one photographed alive was a mare in London’s Zoo in 1870. They were once found in great numbers in the highveld of the Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State of South Africa. The name, quagga comes from the Khoikhoi word for zebra and onomatopoeic, being said to resemble the quagga’s call. Because of the confusion between different zebra species, particularly among the general public, the quagga had become extinct before it was realized that it may have been a separate species.


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