Zonkey? Zebroid? Whatever, it’s adorable

McClatchy Foreign StaffApril 26, 2014 

A zoo in northern Mexico welcomed a rare baby zonkey, a cross between a donkey and zebra. (April 25)


— Look at what’s been born at a zoo in the Mexican city of Reynosa – a rare cross between a zebra and a donkey.

Some dub it a "zonkey." But it’s also been called a "zebroid," a "zebrass" and "zedonk."

The critter’s name is Khumba, and its father is an albino dwarf donkey named Ignacio that frequently visited the pen of the zebra at the Reynosa zoo. After Ignacio’s dalliances with Rayas, the zebra, the result was Khumba, who made a debut on the Zoo’s Facebook page earlier this week.

This surprised some scientists. Zebras are in the equine genus but their chromosomes were thought to be incompatible with donkeys. This is despite what you may have encountered on visiting Tijuana, where a white pony painted with black stripes often greets visitors with a sign declaring that it is a zonkey.

But zonkeys exist in several countries, including China, the U.S., Japan, Germany and Italy, where a zonkey named Ippo was born last year, bringing an influx of visitors to an animal reserve there.

Curiously, when zebras are mixed with other equine species, the striping does not always come out on the same body part. Sometimes, it is on the body, other times only on the head or legs or rear part..

Email: tjohnson@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @timjohnson4

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service