The West

Rare zonkey born at zoo
The breeding of zonkeys or other hybrids is normally frowned upon by the zoo community

A zoo is welcoming its latest exciting arrival into the world - a rare "zebroid", or "zonkey", which was born after a lonesome zebra got intimate with a donkey.

The foal's head and body are the solid brown of a donkey but his legs have the characteristic black stripes of a zebra.

Cross-breeding between zebras and other members of the equine family is not unheard of, although it is rare that the zebra is the mother.

But the breeding of zonkeys or other hybrids is normally frowned upon by the zoo community.

"Such things don't happen in civilised zoos, but can occur at private zoos or on farms," said Anna Kachurovskaya, a zoo spokeswoman.

Source: AAP

Born last week, in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, zookeepers named him Telegraph after a local newspaper which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

"Telegraph is very popular with visitors" who can watch him romping around with his mother, according to zoo director Oleg Zubkov.

Zubkov said Telegraph's mother, who had not had a mate for a long time, was lonely and uncomfortable in her enclosure at the private zoo founded two years ago about 30 kilometres from Crimea's main city Simferopol.

"So on the advice of a zoologist we moved her in with several other hooved animals and she really liked the donkey. As a result of their affection for one another we've gotten Telegraph," Zubkov said in an email to AFP.

Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March in a move hotly contested by Kiev and the international community.


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