|Vogue cover, 1926|
Zebras have always been one of my favourite animals - they're like small horses, but with really amazing fashion sense.
|Stewie the pony clipped zebra style|
Because of their resemblance to horses there has always been great interest in taming and training zebras as riding and harness animals.
Given their nature Zebra's seem to be a odd choice for a pulling animal. The few photos available of Zebra hitches all seem to be from around the same time period. It is as if it was one of those things that "seemed like a good idea at the time," and after everyone had tried their hand at it the practice was abandoned.
In 1866 Zebra's were introduced to Central Park Zoo in New York City.
There are three species of zebras: the plains zebra, the Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra. In 1899 a pair of rare Cape Mountain Zebras were photographed at the London Zoo. The female (feeding) had been bred in Amsterdam, which was an achievement as these animals were often very aggressive with one another. Indeed, the male in this photograph died in 1909 as a result of injuries inflicted by another female.
Here is someone riding a zebra at the Wingfield zoo, c. 1900
Zebras grazing happily at Rhodes Farm, Cape Town, c.1905.
A Band Of Zebras at the Chicago Zoo, around 1909.
|Zebras at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago c. 1911 source|
They look to have had a better enclosure than the zebra(s) at the Milwaukee-Washington Park zoo.
|Milwaukee-Washington Park zoo c. 1911 source|
Could this be the same Zebra?
This photograph taken outside the London Zoological Society offices in 1914 shows one of the zoo's earliest forays into marketing.Four zebras pull a cart advertising a brand of tea. Paying passengers were able to sit alongside the driver.
|Four Zebras and advertising cart, 1914. source|
Like mules, donkey/horse crosses, these animals would seem better suited to pulling carts than purebred zebras. “Zebroid, zedonk, zorse, zebra mule, zonkey, and zebrule” - these are the names of the offspring of any cross between a zebra, usually the stallion, and any other equine; however, the offspring of a donkey sire and zebra dam is called a “zebra hinny” or “donkra”, but are rare.
|Two zebroids (zebra/ass hybrids) drawing a cart in 1915, source|
|A zebra pair harnessed between mules in Kenya, 1929 source.|
|Famous African explorer, Osa Johnson, on her trained zebra, circa 1930 source|
Viola Townsend Winmill, imported her zebra, Nderu, in June 1930 from Kenya and trained it to pull a cart. I love the matching outfits!
Mrs. Winmill even added a sunroom on the back of a tenant house known as Whiffletree Manor at her 350-acre farm, Clovelly. The “Zebra Room” paid homage to Nderu’s distinctive black and white stripes with lamps and rugs.
|The Zebra Room at Whiffletree Manor|
|art deco chairs|
I am off to Melbourne next month, so I might get to see the zebras at the zoo again.
|Zebras at the Melbourne Zoo|
Saw a zebra
at the zoo
|coloured zebra via|