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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, May 04, 2009

sure. a zebra cart. why not.

Walter Rothschild (1868-1937) was a baron and a member of the Rothschild family, and therefore in a position to do pretty much whatever he wanted, as the folks were not hurting for cash flow.

What did he want to do? To create an animal museum. He ended up working in the family bank, but his wealth enabled him to spend his off time establishing and working with the zoological museum he founded at the family estate in Tring, Britain. (You may see their appealing website here, and don't miss the pages on Rothschild, who seems to have been a nice man.)

Walter had a particular fondness for zebras, and betook upon himself their training and an interbreeding program with horses. (You can see a Flickr photo of the museum's taxidermied zebroid foal - a zebra/horse mix - here.) He would drive carriages powered by one to six (so I've seen noted) zebras, preferring the Burchell's zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) for the purpose, as you may see in this copy of an 1895 bulletin. But for a fun photo of that, go here.

I wish we had more people like him kicking around today. He sounds marvelous.

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