The origin of the word zebra is obscure. Some say it comes from an Italian word, some favor Portuguese cebra. Generally it is ascribed an African origin. But it may owe its name to another creature altogether.
In medieval and Renaissance Spanish works, mention is made of a creature called the zebro. Gray in color, its muzzle was dark and it had a black stripe on its back. In the name of this creature do do we have the origin of zebra?
If so, we may ask what this now extinct creature actually was. A recent theory is that it may represent a population of Equus hydruntis, which is thought to have become existed 12,000 years ago. Perhaps it didn't.