‘Zonkey’ Born: Zebra Mom And Donkey Dad Welcome Baby Named ‘Telegraph’ At Crimea Zoo

Stacy Carey - Author

Aug. 8 2014, Updated 11:03 a.m. ET

A new baby “zonkey” was born at the Taigan zoo in Crimea. The newest arrival, a combination of a zebra and a donkey, has been named “Telegraph.” Though zonkeys are rare, Telegraph is not the first of his kind.

The Telegraph shares that the zonkey born last week is already quite popular with visitors to the zoo. He has stripes on his legs that are characteristic of how a zebra looks, but his body and head look like that of a donkey. Apparently in this case, Telegraph’s mom is a zebra, and that is something of a rarity as typically it is the dad who would be the zebra in these cross-breed situations.

A spokeswoman for the Moscow Zoo, Anna Kachurovskaya, says, “Such things don’t happen at civilized zoos, but can occur at private zoos or on farms.”

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This type of cross-breeding is apparently rather frowned upon within the zoo community. Kachurovskaya continues, “This sort of marketing is not justified or scientific.” She adds that the goals of zoos are to preserve wild species, and thus the zonkey born last week would seemingly fall outside what the zoo community typically strives for in its animal management.

The Crimea zoo director Oleg Zubkov says that Telegraph’s mom was uncomfortable and lonely by herself in her own enclosure, and she had not had a mate in quite some time. So “on the advice of a zoologist we moved her in with several other hoofed animals.” It seems she grew particularly fond of a male donkey in the enclosure, and the zonkey born last week was the result.

Yahoo! News notes that the cross-breed is often sometimes referred to as a “zebroid,” and Telegraph is named after a local newspaper. So far the newly born zonkey is spending his time romping around the enclosure with his mom and he definitely is attracting worldwide buzz.

People definitely tend to be fascinated with each new zonkey born and making headlines. Just a few months ago, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, another zonkey named Khumba was born at a zoo in Mexico. An Italian zonkey also made headlines not long ago. The zoos are definitely generating a lot of attention for these hybrid animals, but clearly there is a great deal of criticism that comes alongside the buzz. Should these zoos be holding back on allowing zebras and donkeys to mate to prevent additional opportunities for zonkeys to be born?

[Image via The Chicago Sun-Times]


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