Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Quagga, Equus burchelli quagga, of the Karoo Plains and southern Free State of South Africa were a subspecies of the Burchell’s Zebra, although their unique appearance wouldn't necessarily make this apparent. Some thought incorrectly that the Quagga was the female of Burchell's Zebra, probably because the natives gave both zebras the same name.
In the wild, Quaggas, Ostriches and Wildebeests often grazed together in what was termed the "triple alliance". The Quagga's hearing, the Ostrich's eyesight and the Wildibeast's keen sense of smell comprised excellent defense from predators for the entire herd. However, its limited range made it all the more vulnerable and Quaggas were hunted to the brink of extinction in the mid 19th Century by settlers razing sheep, goats and other livestock. The last Quagga died in in 1883 in an Amsterdam Zoo.