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Zonked out: Zebra-donkey hybrid born at Mexican zoo

Khumba, a zedonk, was born this week at Reynosa Zoo in Mexico.

Khumba, a zedonk, was born this week at Reynosa Zoo in Mexico.

A rare cross between a zebra and a donkey has been born at Reynosa Zoo in northern Mexico.

Zoo officials have named the new arrival, known as a zedonk, Khumba.

Khumba was born on April 23. Khumba’s mother is a female zebra called Rayas while the father is a dwarf, blue-eyed albino donkey named Ignacio.

Ignacio reportedly lives on a nearby farm.

The zoo reported that Rayas used to visit Ignacio every afternoon and Khumba is their love child.

A result from such a mating is rare because a donkey has 62 chromosomes and a zebra has between 32 and 46, depending on the species. Horses have 64. A hybrid has a number of chromosomes somewhere in between. The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids generally sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane’s Rule.

Crosses between donkeys and zebras have been documented since the mid 1800s.

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  1. Patricia Harpring says:

    The indicator for the sire goes first. This foal in Mexico is a donkra — due to the idiosyncracies of the chromosome differences that adversely affect survival in the womb, a donkra is much rarer than a zedonk, which would have a zebra stallion as sire.

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