Look Ma! A Zonkey!
What’s a zonkey, you say? A zonkey (also known as a zedonk) is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Florence, Italy received its very first zonkey a few days ago when Ippo was born at a nature reserve.
One might say the story of Ippo’s birth came from the animal version of “Romeo & Juliet.” The father is a zebra that was adopted by the animal reserve after he was rescued from a failing zoo. The mother, also a rescued animal, is a Donkey of Amiata, an endangered animal species.
Even though a fence separated the two animals, the zebra managed to climb over the fence and mated with the donkey, which then produced Ippo, who has stripped black and white legs, a brown middle, and a donkey-shaped face.
Although zonkeys are rare, Ippo isn’t the only one in the world. Zonkeys have also been born in Germany, China, and right here in the United States. The American zonkey, born in Georgia in 2010, is named Pippi Longstocking.
The zebra is known for its eccentric choice in mates, selecting reproductive partners, not just from within its own species but from the entire Equus population.
These hybrids are collectively known as zebroids, but also have specific names depending on the breeding process. If Ippo’s mother had been the zebra and the father a donkey, Ippo would have been called a donkra.
So, here’s our question – for this rare breed of animal (a cross between zebra and donkey), which name does everyone like – zonkey, zedonk, or donkra?