The Independent

Meet the adorable breed of animal, a Zonkey!

Must See 06/11/2018

What do you get when you cross a zebra and a donkey? A 'zonkey', of course. 

The crossbreed is known to be rare, but a UK farm has welcomed one of their own - a male zonkey called Zippy. 

The animal was born last month at owner Kristine Turner's 55-acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset, The Independent reports. Zippy joins Britain's only other known zonkey, Zambi, who lives on a donkey sanctuary in Shropshire. 

"Last month I opened my bedroom curtains, which look onto the farm, and I just saw this little foal sitting up staring my way," Ms Turner told The Independent, recalling Zippy's surprise birth. She says she wasn't even aware his mother was pregnant. 

Zippy is the offspring of six-year-old zebra Ziggy, his mother, who shares a field with nine donkeys, including Zippy's father, Rag. Ziggy was taken to the farm after she was purchased for NZ$19,600 from a farm in Germany, the Mirror reports. 

"Ziggy has always been a bit porky so I didn't notice she was getting any bigger," said Ms Turner. "He seemed like a right little character and has had a personality from day one."

The young zonkey is distinctively a crossbreed - he has the torso of a donkey but has zebra stripes running down his legs. He's well-protected by his mother, says Ms Turner: "He's never out of her sight."

She says the birth of Zippy is a "miracle".

The most well-known donkey crossbreed are mules - the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. A hinny is the rarer offspring of a female donkey and a male horse.