The Thoughtful Animal


I’m not going to create a new category for this creature, because I never expect to blog about these critters again. At least it’s clear that she’s a mammal.

A zedonk, an unusual cross between a donkey and a zebra, is attracting attention at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in north Georgia after being born there about a week ago.

The animal, which has a zebra father and a donkey mother, has black stripes prominently displayed on her legs and face.

C.W. Wathen, the Dahlonega preserve’s founder and general manager, says the foal has a zebra’s instincts. Wathen says she sits up instead of lying on her side, as if she’s staying alert for predators…

…Donkeys and zebras don’t usually mate, but zedonks turn up occasionally. In 2005, a zebra gave birth to a zedonk in Barbados, according to the news website Science Daily. And in the 1970s, three zedonks were born at a European zoo to a donkey mother, according to the website of Britain’s Colchester Zoo. (via


According to Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic:

Now, the zedonk can finally take its place in the menagerie of weird hybrid animals like ligers, wholphins, and camas (camel-llama mixes), all testaments to the power of “love” to transcend all obstacles, even speciation.

I just wonder what they’re gonna name her. Update: She has been named “Pippi Longstocking.”


  1. #1 symball
    July 30, 2010

    BBC news reported that the name is to be -Pippi Longstocking, after the scandinavian childrens character

  2. #2 djlactin
    July 30, 2010

    “he” is a “she” (Lou Reed flashback coming on!)

  3. #3 AnonymousCoward
    July 30, 2010

    Shouldn’t that be zekey, or donkbra?

  4. #4 Amelia
    July 30, 2010

    Don’t forget zorses and zonies (zonies are my personal favorite. Oddly enough my mom and I spent a while a few nights ago looking at pics of hybrid animals (which started because she told me can’t procreate…but female ligers can!)

  5. #5 Kamel
    July 30, 2010

    AC @3, actually I think the convention is for the male parent species to be first so a donkbra would have a donkey father. (A liger’s not the same as a tigon, dontcha know!) Zekey or Zonkey should work – then again, I guess those could be Zebra-monkey hybrids. 🙂

  6. #6 Kamel
    July 30, 2010

    Amelia @4, I think that’s a common myth, based on a misunderstanding of Haldane’s Rule. Males are typically all sterile (or, more accurately, the heterogametic sex is). I’ve written a bit about it here.

  7. #7 Vicki
    July 30, 2010

    If mules, why not zedonks?

  8. #8 Jason G. Goldman
    July 30, 2010

    It has been pointed out to me that the zedonk in question is female, and not male, and I have therefore changed the pronouns. A 2am error of a fuzzy brain. Moving on.

  9. #9 AndiK
    July 30, 2010

    The first thing I thought of was Pippi Longstocking. And that I have a pair of knee-highs that look just like that. I wear them, too.

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