What do you get when you cross a zebra and a donkey? A "zonkey," of course!
In a rare birth in Italy, an animal reserve near Florence welcomed a zebra-donkey hybrid
to the world last week. Named Ippo, the zonkey looks like a typical donkey, but carries the stripes of a zebra.
Officials said Ippo is in good health, according to local reports. The offspring of a breed of donkey from Amiata and a zebra adopted from a local zoo, the zonkey was not bred intentionally: A determined male zebra scaled
a fence to get into a female donkey's enclosure
However, it seems the unintentional birth is a boon for the small sanctuary
, which often takes in animals seized by police. "Ippo is the only one of his kind in Italy," Serena Aglietti, a member of the family that owns the reserve, told ANSA news service.
While a zebra-donkey hybrid is unique, its existence is not that uncommon. In 2010, another zonkey with a zebra father and donkey mother was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Georgia.
Interestingly, a cross between a donkey father and zebra mother is referred to as a "donkra." A donkey-zebra hybrid was born at a Chinese zoo in 2011.