The zebra belongs to the same family as the horses
and ponies. There are three separate species of zebra:
Grevy's zebras photographed by Victoria Kind
| 1. The Grevy's
Zebra is the largest zebra, with many, narrow vertical stripes, and huge
round ears. Grevy's has been called the most domesticatable zebra. Though it's
larger & more powerful than the plains zebra, it's easier to train. One
behavioral trait of the Grevy's is that in the breeding season, the stallions
do not have harems. Instead, each stallion is highly territorial, defending a
little patch of land, and trying to mate with any females that happen to come
zebra The common Plains Zebra can also be domesticated and have been used
as harness animals. They are easy keepers and are said to be more intelligent
than mules or donkeys, which may be where they get their reputation for being
difficult to train.
Plains zebras phographed by Victoria Kind
3. The Mountain Zebra. They are smaller, and are recognizable by a
dewlap under the neck. They are least suitable for training, partly because
their conformation makes them poor riding or driving animals, and partly
because ones captured from the wild are difficult to tame.
Captive quaggas were very tame, and a pair of quaggas were used in harness in
London in the 1800's. They were also used as driving animals in South Africa
and as guards for horses and sheep, since quaggas were very bold at chasing off
predators. Quaggas were also one of the most spectacularly beautiful zebras.
Quaggas are now extinct, the last known specimen having died in 1872.