The last quagga in the world dies in a zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A female quagga in a London Zoo in 1870. Source: http://en.wikipedia.orgA female quagga in a London Zoo in 1870. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

Date: 12 August, 1883

The last quagga in the world died in a zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The quagga had once roamed the pastures of the Karoo and the southern Free State. It differed in appearance from other zebra in that it was striped on the front half of its body only. The upper part of its body was a creamy, light brown, while its belly and legs were whitish. The last wild quagga was probably shot in the late 1870s. The name is derived from a Khoi-Khoi word for zebra and is being said to resemble the quagga's call.

Scientific research revealed that the quagga was not a species in its own right, but one of the 'Plains zebra' subspecies. Following that, a team of South Africans have been working since 1987 to recreate the quagga by selective breeding from 'Plains zebra' stock, aiming to eventually reintroduce them to the wild. This project has been highly successful, with Henry, the most quagga-like foal so far, being born on 20 January 2005.

The extinction of the quagga was brought upon by aggressive hunting by the settlers. The quagga could not be tamed and the settlers began to view them as pests. They were hunted for their meat and their skin which was used as leather.

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