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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

GLEN VAUDREY: Quaggas in `The Savage Land`

Having spent the last two visits to the pages of The Savage World looking at birds that tripped off this mortal coil, it is time to turn our attention to subspecies of the Plains zebra, the Quagga.

'The Quagga (Equus quagga, or Asinus quagga) is said to have derived its name from its peculiar cry. The ground – colour is black-brown above and white fore belly, hindquarters and legs, the Quagga wears lateral stripes from its head well back upon its body. It is about four and a half feet high and its head well back upon it body. It is about four and a half feet high, and about five and a half feet in length. The head and ears are horse like and white, long flowing tail is white. It lives in herds and is found most frequently in company with the ostrich and the gnu. It is peaceful in its habit, but when hunted is quite fearless in its charging. It has been domesticated, but for the most part is hunted for sport or killed for its flesh. Its habitat is southern Africa, and most African travelers speak of having enjoyed the sport of shooting the quagga.’

Sadly it appears that one too many travellers to Africa enjoyed hunting the Quagga and once again it appears that the author missed the fact that the animal was extinct long before publication. The last wild Quagga was shot in the late 1870s while the last captive animal died on 12 August 1883 in Artis Magistra Zoo in Amsterdam.
Since 1992 The Quagga Project in South Africa has been trying to recreate the breed by selective breeding of zebra. Whether, if successful in their aims, the animal will be a Quagga or just a funny-marked zebra is still open to question.

2 comments:

Retrieverman said...

The quagga was just a color variation of the Plains zebra.

Dale Drinnon said...

Since all the quagga ever was seems to have been only a color variant of the common zebra, it would only be a funny marked zebra in any event.