//Did you know there’s an animal called Zonkey?
Zonkey: a Zebra-Donkey Hybrid Animal

Did you know there’s an animal called Zonkey?

Well I suppose that this title is very curious, in this installment we will address the unique animal called Zonkey. Today we will learn about the origin of Zonkey its characteristics

However, a Zonkey is the result of mating between a male zebra and a female donkey or donkey. There have also been cases of Zonkeys product of a male donkey and a female zebra but are less common.

The combinations between different breeds of some species is very common especially in dogs. For which they are often called mestizos, this same phenomenon occurs with cats.  However in the case of zebras it is somewhat unusual.

For this reason it draws so much attention to seeing the physical characteristics of a Zebra. Well, the unique stripes of zebras have them but very scarce.

The Zonkey belongs to the Zebroid family. A zebroid is any hybrid animal resulting from a mixture between a zebra and an animal from the subfamily Equinae, from the family Equidae, genus Equus in biological taxonomy.

Today the equidae subfamily is composed of donkeys, horses and zebras. This is how, for example, the cross between a mare and a male donkey gives rise to a hybrid animal called a mule.

In this way we will be able to appreciate the diversity that this taxonomic genus and its hybrid animals possess. Let’s go for it.

Ippo the Zonkey: The Only Zonkey in Italy

The Zonkey

It is a hybrid animal that results from the cross between a zebra and an donkey or also called a jackass.

Both the donkey and zebra correspond to the equidae family. So they’ve been something of a distant family.

In parts of South Africa, wild specimens of Zonkey, a very unique animal, are often seen. It should be noted that this animal is not so well known.

Zebras as well as mules have the particularity that they cannot be reproduced. Since these animals are infectious, this is due to an odd number of chromosomes, which prevents meiosis.

Zebras are very rare cases so these animals are not so known to man.


First records of Zonkey origin

In ” Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life ” (1859), Charles Darwin states:

“The case of a Zonkey that had apparently produced a triple hybrid with a mare”

For the mating of the zebra and donkey it usually happens that the union of a male zebra with an ass. Hence the result of the unique hybrid animal.

In 2005, something unusual happened because a zebra was mated and a zonkey was born.

Then in a zoo in Mexico, a zonkey was born from the crossing of an albino donkey with a female zebra. The calf has been named Khumba.

Undoubtedly an event that attracts the attention of many people.

Zippy the little zonkey
Zippy the little zonkey

Donkey and Zebra Concepts: Progenitors of the Singular Zonkey


A hybrid is the living animal or plant body from the cross of two organisms by sexual reproduction. This is usually of different breeds, species or subspecies.

The Donkey or Jackass:

Soliped animal, about a meter and a half high, of ashtray color. This animal has long ears and a tail populated with bristles.

The use of this animal is usually as cavalry and as a beast of cargo. Sometimes also shooting.

He’s a close relative of the zebra. Therefore they both belong to the family of equidae.

The Zebra:

It is an equidae mammal smaller than the horse, short hair white

The differentiating element of this beautiful animal is that it has cross-sectional and inclined lists of brown or black

The crossing of the zebra and donkey (female – male and vice versa) result in what we know as the Zonkey.


Differences between zebra and donkey

It should be noted that the zebra usually lives in the wild or in zoos. While donkeys or donkeys are used as cargo and transport animals.

The donkey is usually ashtray, black or brown. While zebras are black with white stripes.

The zebra often enjoys its freedom more while donkeys have always been used by man for various activities.

From the mixture of these originates the zonkey, a singular creature.


An anecdote of a zonkey that has gone viral

A zebra was born in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills National Park. This is a very unique hybrid animal between a zebra and a donkey.

The information was released by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

This organization complies with the laudable work of wildlife conservation, preservation and protection.

A little zonkey and its mommy zebra
A little zonkey and its mommy zebra

According to the statement it reads as follows:

“In May 2019 a wild zebra escaped from Tsavo East National Park and joined a herd of local cattle.  The animal was found by representatives of the organization and moved to Chyulu Hills National Park, where he now lives”

In January 2020, park employees saw the zebra with a calf by its side. However, they did not notice the zebra but a few weeks later.

This one had few stripes and its body was brown. From there they came to the conclusion that the calf was the result of a cross between the zebra and a donkey.

The organization’s representative, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on its website, wrote the following:

“First of all, we thought he had only bathed in the mud, but then we came up with the truth: Our rebellious zebra had given birth to a Zonkey!”

The funny thing about this fact is that they assume it as an act of zebra rebellion by falling in love with a donkey (laughs). While the particularity of the Zonkey apart from its physical characteristics is that it cannot be reproduced.

This animal would be the equivalent of the mule. Otherwise you can lead a completely normal life.

Zonkey: a Zebra-Donkey Hybrid Animal
Zonkey: a Zebra-Donkey Hybrid Animal

Miscegenation and genetic diversity

Zonkey as a result of zebra mating and donkey is an animal with unique characteristics. So it comes to be what we call a half-breed and like other animals deserve respect from humans.

Without a doubt the diversity of nature you continue to surprise us today. For this is what happens very often with puppies that cross different races and result in what we know as half-breeds.

According to Darwin one of the keys to evolution is genetic diversity and natural selection. To continue to adapt to the world in which we live we must continue to evolve and the greater diversity the better our adaptation will be.

That is why we must value diversity in all its forms. See you next time.






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