Stripe action: Western Cape wine estate celebrates birth of quagga-like zebra

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A quagga was born at the Vergelegen wine estate in the Western Cape.
A quagga was born at the Vergelegen wine estate in the Western Cape.
PHOTO: Supplied

Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West in the Western Cape ended 2022 on a high note with the birth of a quagga-like zebra on 14 December.

The foal joins others bred in the facility as part of a project launched in 1987 to breed an animal resembling its original species as closely as possible.

The quagga is a subspecies of the plains zebra. The breed was hunted to extinction in the second half of the 19th century. The last known one died in 1883, in the Amsterdam zoo.

"Quagga were shorter and stockier than southern plains zebraswith a pale brown hide and black markings, unlike the white hide and black markings of other plains zebras. Quagga usually have stripes on the head, neck, and front portion of their bodies only," said environmental project manager Eben Olderwagen.

The quagga breeding programme breeds selectively from a founder population of Southern Plains zebras in order to retrieve the genes responsible for the quaggas’ characteristic hide pattern and colour.

These breeding animals are known as Rau quagga, in memory of Reinhold Rau, who founded the project.

Olderwagen said the animals in the estate would be exchanged with others in the programme to prevent in-breeding.

The sex of the newest member of the family at Vergelegen hasn't been determined, but according to Olderwagen, it is healthy and adjusting well.

"It has grown about 15cm taller in a month and has been spotted nibbling lucerne, in addition to suckling from its mother," he added.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the foal is not a quagga, but resembles one.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1568 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 8643 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1780 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.