Monday, October 27, 2014

What is a zebrass?

A zebrass, zedonk or zedonkey is the cross between a zebra and a donkey.

Unlike with horses, it is possible to breed a zebra hinny (the chromosome numbers are closer together). Additionally, interbreeding between zebras and wild asses, despite the fact that the offspring are not fertile, has been witnessed in parts of Africa where their ranges overlap. It's possible that this may have given people the initial idea to create mules. (Horses and donkeys do not have naturally overlapping ranges).

Like zorses, zedonks resemble the non-zebra parent in body type, but have zebra stripes. Zebrasses have been intentionally bred as work animals, partly in the hope that they would inherit the zebra's resistance to sleeping sickness.

A "zedonk" at Colchester Zoo. Source: sannse via Wikimedia Commons.

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