'Zonkey,' Rare Zebra-Donkey Hybrid, Born In Italy (VIDEO)

What do you get when you cross a zebra and a donkey? A "zonkey," of course!

Well, that's one common name for the unusual mix.

In a rare birth in Italy, an animal reserve near Florence welcomed a zebra-donkey hybrid to the world last week. Named Ippo, the zonkey looks like a typical donkey, but carries the stripes of a zebra.

Officials said Ippo is in good health, according to local reports. The offspring of a breed of donkey from Amiata and a zebra adopted from a local zoo, the zonkey was not bred intentionally: A determined male zebra scaled a fence to get into a female donkey's enclosure.

However, it seems the unintentional birth is a boon for the small sanctuary, which often takes in animals seized by police.

"Ippo is the only one of his kind in Italy," Serena Aglietti, a member of the family that owns the reserve, told ANSA news service.

While a zebra-donkey hybrid -- also called a "zedonk" or "zebroid" -- is unique, its existence is not that uncommon. In 2010, another zonkey with a zebra father and donkey mother was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Georgia.

Interestingly, a cross between a donkey father and zebra mother is referred to as a "donkra." A donkey-zebra hybrid was born at a Chinese zoo in 2011.



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