Northern California got hit with a big storm (Yay!! – RAIN!) but I lost power when I needed it so I have to write something quickly before it goes out again… Here we go!
(Let me state that most zebra trainers that I know have said that zebras are rank and dangerous and should not be taken lightly. I have no experience with Zebras and I’m sure there are lovely individuals out there… but I guess what I’m saying is, “Don’t try this at home” – if you have access to zebras.)
You can find the original article here.
Image: The Picture Magazine/Public Domain
For European colonizers penetrating Africa in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, local zebras’ resistance to diseases carried by tsetse flies made domesticating them an attractive alternative to importing horses.
As it turns out, there is a reason Africans never domesticated them. Unlike horses, which naturally roam around munching on grass, zebras spend their lives cagily watching, evading and fighting savannah predators such as lions, cheetahs and crocodiles.
Natural selection has bred zebras to be nervous, flighty and brutally aggressive if cornered. They have been known to kill lions with a single kick.
Though impossible to domesticate on a large scale, taming individual zebras to perform horse-like duties has occasionally been successful. Lord Walter Rothschild trained a team of zebras to pull a carriage, which he drove past Buckingham Palace to demonstrate their supposedly pliable nature.
As for riding, zebras are smaller than horses and do not have the back strength necessary to carry a person for an extended time. But that hasn’t stopped people from taking the occasional joyride at the zebra’s expense.
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