In appearance zebras and horses are very similar. For a long time, a man uses a horse as an assistant in everyday life and in war. In our history, it was the horse that played the most important role in comparison with other animals. But why, since the external resemblance to a horse is so great, did not a man try to use a zebra as his assistant? Moreover, since modern people originated in the territory of Africa, why did our ancestors not try to use zebras for their needs, but could get along with horses when they got to Eurasia? And how exquisitely looked in the ranks of striped animals during the solemn parades and reviews!
It’s all about the problems of domestication. In order for an animal to be suitable for domestication, it must satisfy five criteria: it could easily be caught without a particular danger to one’s life, it could be safely planted in captivity, it should not compete with a person for its food, and finally , these animals should have a clear hierarchy. Of all animal species, an extremely small number is suitable immediately for all these criteria. That is why in his entire history before the era of industrialization, man was able to domesticate only a few species, if we talk about large animals. And the zebra is not included in their number.
Unlike horses, zebras have a much more violent temper than it seems at first glance. The threshold of admission of a man to a zebra is much higher than that of wild horses: barely seeing a biped, this animal will run away, and in some situations will try to attack, which in most cases will end for a person lethal. But the main reason for the impossibility of domestication and domestication of zebras is the absence of a clear hierarchy in these animals. If you look at the herd of horses, you can see that the head of the herd is the leading male, followed by the entire herd. Zebras are kept in the herd solely to increase their chances of survival, just as they gather in flocks of fish. There are no clear hierarchies for zebras. And if for the restraint of the whole herd of wild horses a person is enough to saddle and control his leader, then even riding a zebra in some way, the rest of the herd will simply run up. Of course, zebras could be tamed, but every time the whole process of getting used to a person and pacifying the wild nature of the animal would have to be repeated from the very beginning with each new animal, which the ancient people simply did not have time for.
But even if you tame (not domesticate!) And ride a zebra that differs from its kind kind people, it turns out that the back of this animal is simply not designed to ride it on horseback. The backbone of zebras is too weak to withstand an adult or even to carry a load for a long time.
It becomes obvious that it is impossible to domesticate zebras, and taming some of them is absolutely unprofitable. But even if the zebras were the most tame and sweetest creatures on the planet, we would simply have broken their backs during a long horse ride.
This is interesting: some researchers believe that a person could domesticate a cat only half, and in these animals a part of the character of wild big cats – the propensity to independence and independence from a person is still preserved. More: “How did a man domesticate a cat?”.