Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Featured Animal: Zonkey

By Azanimals @azanimals
Zonkey The zonkey also known as zebrass, zebronkey,zeasses, zeedonk, zedonk, zebadonk, zenkey, donbra, zebrinny, or deebra, is basically the result of when a zebra and a donkey mate. However, depending on which way round the parents are, determines whether the offspring is classed as a zonkey (male zebra, female donkey) or a zeedonk (female zebra, male donkey).

Zonkey Like with the common mule, it is thought to be almost impossible for the zonkey to breed. The zonkey can be conceived when a zebra and a donkey are in the same territory in south Africa. Both the zebra and the donkey belong to the horse family so this cross-mating is plausible. The courtship behavior of a donkey is much more similar to that of the various zebra species than a horse's courtship behavior. Zebras and donkeys will more readily and easily breed for that reason than zebras and horses.

The zonkey is extremely rare in the wild, but a number of zoos have successfully been able to breed the zonkey. The first zoo to breed a zonkey was Colchester Zoo in Essex, south east England.

Zonkeys are hybrid animals and the zonkey is bred by mating together two species from within the same genus (donkey and zebra). The resulting zonkey offspring have traits and characteristics of both parents. The tallest zonkey at the top of the page is sired by a Grevy zebra. The result is a taller animal with a bigger head, wither hump, and a Grevy pinstriping pattern. The rest of the zonkies are sired by the common or plains zebra. Their conformation is more ponylike and they are generally smaller. Their striping pattern is like that of the parent zebra species. Look carefully - there are two zorses among the zedonks. Notice their more horselike conformation and much smaller ears.

Zonkeys vary considerably in both looks and temperament depending on which species of zebra is used for the cross. Grevy hybrids tend to be more aggressive like the Grevy parent. Zonkeys from plains zebra (Grant, Chapman, etc) are much mellower.

A Zonkey is a cross between a zebra stallion (male) and a donkey jennet (female). The zonkey gets its the colour or dominant colour gene of the donkey and the zebra sire gives the zonkey its species specific striping pattern.

The zonkey is generally more easily bred than a zorse (the mix-breeding of a zebra and a horse) as the donkey and zebra use similar methods of communication and have similar behavioural patterns where the horse and the zebra have many more differences.

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