Zebra/Donkey Hybrid — Zedonk


Too wild not to share: zebra/donkey hybrid (i.e. zedonk) was born in Georgia this week.

A “zedonk” was just born in the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in north Georgia (the state, not the country). She’s got a donkey for a mother and a zebra stallion for a father.

It is a rather rare animal and even surprised the keepers of the preserve when it was born.

“The animals have been running (in the fields) together for more than 40 years, but this is the first time that this has happened here,” said C.W. Wathen, the preserve’s founder and general manager. “We never suspected that they (had mated), so it was quite a surprise when the zedonk was born.”

Wathen says the zedonk takes after its zebra father more, behaviorally.

“Usually, a foal will lay over on its side, sunning itself,” Wathen said. “But the zedonk sits up at all time — like she’s on alert looking out for predators. She’s still got some of her wild instincts.”

If you’re like me, one of your first reactions to this was, “Is this the first time this has happened?” Apparently, it’s not. A zebra gave birth to a zedonk in Barbados in 2005. And three zedonks were born in a European zoo to a donkey mother in the 1970s. Still, though, not a ton of them running around.

Other than zebras, donkeys, and zedonks, the 25-acre nonprofit preserve has giant tortoises, colorful macaws, white tigers, black leopards and a 2-month-old wolf.

“We keep all the animals fed really well, so a lot of the animals that would normally be predators in the wild run together in the same areas here,” Wathen said. “In the wild they are competing for food, but here they don’t have to compete, so there’s no fighting.”

Sounds like a nice place. Reminds me of the Lion, Tiger & Bear Friendship I wrote about a few months ago.

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via the gainesvilletimes & TreeHugger

Photo Credit: TOM REED/The Gainesville Times

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