A rare ‘zonkey’ – the offspring of a male zebra and a female donkey – has been born at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy.
Adorable Ippo, who has the colouring of a donkey but the distinctive stripes of a zebra, is reported to be in good health.
Her incredible conception is an example of love – or perhaps simple lust – conquering all.
Ippo is a rare zonkey – the offspring of a zebra father and a donkey mother. She has characteristics of both her parents’ species
Against all odds: Ippo came into being after a zebra at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy, climbed his protective fence and had sex with a donkey
The zebra, who was rescued from a failing zoo, was so randy that he climbed his protective fence and made love to a Donkey of Amiata, an endangered species, in a neighboring field.
Serena Aglietti, one of the employees at the reserve, told ABC, ‘Ippo is the only one of her kind in Italy.’
A zorse is the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse, while a zony is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare and can even be ridden.
Family: Ippo with her mother and father
Like mules, however, they are generally genetically unable to breed, due to an odd number of chromosomes.
Offspring of a male donkey and a female zebra are called a zebra hinny, or donkra, but are incredibly rare.
Although rare, there are a few notable zonkies around the world. A donkey sanctuary in Shropshire boasts a a zorse called Zulu, Zambi a zonkey and Zee the donkra .
Amanda Bell, who runs Donkey Rescue UK, has helped rescue more than 50 donkeys taking in injured or badly treated animals from all over Europe.
Who you calling stripey? Zee the zedonk, left, and Zambi the zonkey look more like donkeys, but have a zebra’s temper, keepers say
Although rare, there are a few notable zonkeys around the world.
The 32-year-old mother of two said: ‘I don’t necessarily agree with breeding these hybrids but they needed rescuing so we took them on.
‘They were bred in America and imported to the UK. They are fascinating creatures.
‘The zorse can be ridden like a horse but has the senses of a zebra.
‘If a vet has a syringe in their pocket it will go mad even though it can’t see it – a zebra will do that too.’
The Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Georgia, U.S. had its own zonkey on July 21, 2010.
Read more: Daily Mail