As the human obsession with playing God continues, the latest unnatural offspring to be brought into the world it is called a Zonkey.
Donkeys and Zebras weren’t enough on their own, so a British woman purchased a £10,000 Zebra and put it in a field with all her donkeys in the hope to give them no other choice than to inter-breed.
Baby Zippy the Zonkey was born on Kristine Turner’s 55-acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset.
Prior to Zippy’s birth on October 2 this year, there was thought to be only one zonkey in the UK, Zambi, who lives on a donkey sanctuary in Shropshire.
Ms Turner explained how she discovered Zippy:
Last month I opened my bedroom curtains, which look onto the farm, and I just saw this little foal sitting up staring my way.
I was in complete shock. I ran downstairs in my PJs, put a coat on and went over to see him.
He seemed like a right little character and has had a personality from day one.
He’s half a wild animal so he’ll nip and kick me a tiny bit but in a cheeky way. Then he’ll dash off.
He has quite a fitting name really. He’s calmed down a bit now as he lets me brush him.
Ziggy has really taken to motherhood and she’s a great mum. He’s never out of her sight. They wander round the farm and do everything together. Rag tends to keep out the way.
Zippy looks just as you’d expect him to look, with a mix of donkey and zebra features, including stripy legs and upright ears.
Zippy’s mother, a zebra called Ziggy, was bought for £10,000 from Germany, but ultimately taken from its native land of Africa.
Zebras are social animals that spend their time in herds, grazing together on the African savanna’s grass, and grooming one another.
They tend to live in small familial groups consisting of a male, several females and their young, so I can’t imagine Ziggy was chuffed when she was put in a Somerset field with a load of donkeys.
Ms Turner spoke about how it was ‘a completely natural process’:
It was a completely natural process. It wasn’t as if I forced them together and was trying to engineer it.
I bred Rag on the farm four years ago so I had years thinking it was never going to happen – despite really wanting it too.
I’m just so happy. Zippy is just a little miracle.
Hilariously, there was a zoo in Cairo that tried to create its own zebroid, but not through cross-breeding.
They took a much quicker and less evasive process, by simply painting stripes on a donkey.
Yep, a tourist took a closer look at the ‘zebra’ and saw paint smudges and noticed its long, drooping donkey ears. It’s a cheaper option and there were probably barely any other tourists who noticed.
The offspring of a zebra dam and donkey sire is actually called a zebra hinny or donkra. They are rare and are usually sterile and infertile.
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