Yes, it’s true. This isn’t a late April Fools Joke. A zebra has given birth to a half-zebra and half-donkey baby.
A Zebra in the Chyulu Hills National Park in Kenya was spotted with a peculiar looking foal by her side. The foal had the stripes of a zebra on parts of its body, but they weren’t very dark and there were a lot of places on its skin with tan coloring.
Caregivers at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an animal rescue and rehabilitation organization, discovered this unique looking foal and upon examination, they were excited to discover it wasn’t just a zebra…but a zonkey! (A zebra-donkey hybrid)
“Working with wildlife, one learns to expect the unexpected,” the rescue group said in a news release on Wednesday. “Even the most seemingly straightforward story can eventually reveal its true stripes and end up surprising us all.”
The mother zebra was a part of Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park, before straying off on her own. She made herself a home with some cattle in a nearby community.
The rescue team realized that she must have mated with a donkey during that time because 12 months later, her baby came out looking just like one.
“The zonkey combines the sturdy body of its donkey sire and the striped legs of its zebra mother, which makes for a striking creature,” the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust said. “While it should otherwise lead a normal life, zonkeys are mules, meaning that it will be unable to successfully breed once it reaches maturity.”
The zebra and her baby zonkey are happy in their new habitat, and have enough food and water to keep them happy for life. Until they’re discovered by a zeal (a group of wild zebras), the pair will continue to enjoy the park and stay safe.