A rare zonkey has been born after a “wayward zebra” met an “amorous donkey”.
The animal, which has the body of a zebra and the legs of a donkey, was born at a Kenyan national park.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) – which reported the discovery – said the birth was “highly unusual” but it was “not difficult to connect the dots” to establish the zonkey’s paternity.
According to The Independent, the mother is assumed to have been impregnated after straying out of Tsavo East National Park and into a neighboring village more than a year earlier.
“She made herself right at home there, becoming an honorary member of a local woman’s cattle herd,” said the SWT, an animal rescue group which was asked to transport the “wayward” zebra back to a protected area several weeks later in May last year.
The SWT explained: “It wasn’t until several weeks later that we finally got a proper sighting of the pair – and that was when her birth announcement revealed a whole new, surprising twist.
“During her time living with the community, she had obviously become acquainted with an amorous donkey.”
Despite its unique parentage, the zonkey is said to be “thriving” with its mother. The SWT said: “They seem quite content to spend their days grazing side-by-side, a sight that makes us all stop and marvel at the wonders of nature.”
Donkeys and zebras are closely related members of the horse family according to reports by The Independent. Other zebra hybrids – known collectively referred to as zebroids – such as zorses and zonies have also been documented.