Right away, you are probably wondering two things: (1) "What is a quagga?" and (2) "Why should I care?" Well, luckily, I can answer both of these questions. Or at least question number 1. But before I do that, I have to say thank you to my good basenji friend Zest, Superstar-in-Training, for telling me about the quagga and suggesting that I write about them.
The name quagga is very funny-sounding and fun to say. The quagga got their name from the native Hottentot people, whose name is also very funny-sounding. The Hottentots knew that "kwa-ha" was the sound that zebras made, and so that seemed like a good name for them.
Anyway, when the white people came to South Africa, which is where the quagga lived, they started hunting them so they could eat them and also because they liked quagga skins. Plus they did not want the quagga eating grass and stuff that their sheep and cows could be eating. So before long, all the quagga were gone from South Africa.
But now I will tell you the sort-of happy ending to this story, which is that people are trying to get the quagga back! And the way they are doing this is by breeding zebras to try to make the quagga genes show up again. No one knows if this is really possible, but there's a man in South Africa named Reinhold Rau who started this thing called the Quagga Project. So far, he has made zebras in the 3rd and 4th generations that look something like pictures of quagga.