EXTINCT QUAGGA BACK IN THE KAROO

This remarkable event had its beginnings on August 12, 1883, the day a quagga mare died in Amsterdam Zoo. Nobody then paid much attention. Only later it was revealed that she had been the last of her kind on earth.

This beautiful species of zebra-type animals was once abundant on the plains of the Great Karoo. But they were ruthlessly hunted as settlers considered them competitors for the grazing needed for sheep, goats and cattle. Then, nearly 100 years later in the early 1980s, a project was launched to recreate the species from portions of its genetic code present in tissue samples taken from mounted museum exhibits.

It was a painstakingly slow process, but now 11 of the once extinct plains quagga have been resettled in the Karoo National park where everything possible is being done to help them to adapt to life on the veld.

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