Quagga Equus quagga

Type of Animal:

Grasslands, montane shrubland, plains, xeric shrubland, arid scrubland, wetter pastures, dune areas, desert, Mediterranean scrub, Mediterranean woodland/forest

Formerly found in South Africa

Zebra-like appearance in front & more horse-like appearance in rear-brown & white stripes on head/neck, brown upper body, white belly/tail/legs, stripes boldest on head/neck, standing mane, reddish brown back/flanks


Status in Wild:

Quagga Project established in 1987 in South Africa to bring these animals back from extinction & reintroduce it to former range. In March 1987, 9 Burchell’s/Damara Zebras (most closely related zebra species) captured at Namibia’s Etosha National Park & brought in April 1987 to breeding farm near Robertson, South Africa (in Western Cape province). As number of Zebras increased, breeding farm abandoned in 1992 w/ zebras moving to 3 new sites by 1993. 1st foal from project born on December 9 1988. 1st Quagga-like individual born January 20, 2005. By March 2016, there were 116 animals related to Quagga Project (in 10 different locations) w/ 6 showing Quagga-like reduced stripe pattern. Goal is to have 50 such zebras & move them to protected area.

Basic herds comprised stallion & harems of 3-10 mares & foals. Many stallions lived in bachelor herds of 2-15 zebras. Often, harem & bachelor herds would aggregate in herds of 30-50 animals.

Additional Info:

Male: Stallion
Female: Mare
Young: Foal
Group: Herd
Male: 500-800 lbs
Female: 500-700 lbs
Young: 100 lbs

1 year

Life Span:
20-30 years

4.1-4.4 ft

Body Length:
8.5 ft

Tail Length:
1.8 ft

Main predators were lions, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards, & cheetahs.
Last living Quagga died at Artis Zoo in Amsterdam in 1883.
Only 1 Quagga ever photographed alive, which was at London Zoo between 1863-1870 (there’s 5 photos).
Became extinct in wild in 1878 because of extensive hunting due to competing w/ livestock as well as for skins/meat by European settlers.
Last-known Quagga is stuffed at Naturalis museum in Leiden, Netherlands.
Mares once impregnated stayed in same herd for life.

Fun Fact(s):
Like other zebras, no 2 individuals had same exact pattern.
1st extinct animal whose DNA was analyzed-this happened in 1984.
Some farmers used these animals to guard livestock, due to likelihood of attacking intruders.
Most domestication attempts failed due to unpredictable nature.
In early 1800s, British noble Lord Morton, 16th Earl of Morton, obtained Quagga stallion which he bred w/ horse mare, producing hybrid known as Lord Morton’s mare, which subsequently bred w/ horse stallion. Both offspring had zebra stripes.
These are closely related Damara/Burchell’s Zebras from the Quagga Project-I’m using this image because this gives some ideas of what Quaggas looked like

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