A Zebra and a Donkey Fell in Love — And Now We Have a ZONKEY!

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When it comes to animals, it can sometimes be difficult to tell what’s real and what is simply made up.

There are an estimated 8.7 million species of animals in the world that have been catalogued, and that’s while knowing that there are still large swaths of our Earth including our lakes, rivers and oceans to be explored, and countless new flora and fauna to be discovered.

What happens when a zebra and a donkey fall in love with each other?

Not much usually, but on rare occasions this partnership can result in the birth of a rare animal called a “zonkey” that must be seen to be believed.

This is exactly what happened in a national park in Kenya when workers recently noticed the unusual newcomer.

Unlike zebras, the hybrid animal has few stripes, and when experts from an animal organization looked a little closer, they realized the truth about this rare animal: his dad was not a zebra in this case, but a donkey!

A team of researchers calculated that the little zonkey had been conceived when her mother ventured out of the Tsavo East National Park and into a community bordering the area.

She made herself at home, becoming a member of a local woman’s cattle herd.

It was here that she is believed to have met an amorous donkey, leading to the conception and birth of the magnificent wonder of nature you see in these photographs.

Photos via Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Nairobi, Kenya


Zonkeys are mules, meaning that they are unable to breed once they meet maturity.

That being said, the zonkey should live a healthy life, and is already turning heads in this beautiful natural landscape.

According to A-ZAnimals.com, these creatures live 15-25 years and reach sexual maturity at the age of one or two years old.

They eat grasses, herbs and fruit, and can weigh between 500 and 700 pounds.

zebras zonkeys

Their habitats include savannahs and open woodlands.

While it has been hypothesized that there are some wild zonkeys in Africa, most are found in zoos or used as work animals.

A baby zonkey in Italy.

For now, let’s all admire the beauty of these incredible animals, and be sure to share this article with anyone you know who would enjoy seeing them.

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