Animal crossbreeds have existed for a long time. The most famous example would likely be the humble mule, a cross between a horse and a donkey. More recently, we’ve also seen ligers – the offspring of a lion and a tiger. Recently, a pretty rare paring between a zebra and a donkey in Britain has resulted in a zonkey. This lil guy, known as Zippy the zonkey, is only the second of his kind in the world.
This is, I repeat, just the second time this has ever happened (the first zonkey, Zambi, was born in Lincolnshire, England). And we’re so glad that on October 2nd, 2018, Zippy shocked his owners and emerged into the world.
Kristine Turner owns a 55-acre farm in South Barrow with several donkeys and one special zebra, Ziggy. She purchased Ziggy for £10,000 in Germany never thinking anything like Zippy would happen. But when Rags, a four-year-old donkey, fell in love at first sight with Ziggy…well, you know how it works. Ziggy was born.
“Ziggy has always been a bit porky so I didn’t notice she was getting any bigger. It was a complete surprise… Last month I opened my bedroom curtains, which look onto the farm, and I just saw this little foal sitting up staring my way. I was in complete shock. I ran downstairs in my PJs, put a coat on and went over to see him.”
When asked how the little munchkin is doing, Turner answered, “He seemed like a right little character and has had a personality from day one,” she says. “He’s half wild animal, so he’ll nip and kick me a tiny bit but in a cheeky way. Then he’ll dash off.”
And Ziggy is of course a proud mama.
“Ziggy has really taken to motherhood and she’s a great mum. He’s never out of her sight. They wander around the farm and do everything together.”
I, for one, could use some more zonkeys in my life.