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This is Ippo the zonkey, a lovely two-for-one hybrid of the zebra and the donkey. Ippo was born just four months ago at an animal reserve in Florence, Italy. Her parents’ unusual tryst occurred when her father, Martin the zebra, jumped the fence at his enclosure and entered an enclosure housing endangered Amiata donkeys. In the enclosure, Martin met Giada and, twelve months later, little Ippo was born!
Hybrids like Ippo are very rare. They combine various traits from both parent species – their overall appearance is more like that of the donkey, but they have striped legs and tummies and a wilder temperament than that of the donkey. [Read more…]
Unfortunately, like mules, hybrids like Ippo are often infertile because of different numbers of chromosome. However, there shouldn’t be any significant health issues that would prevent Ippo from living a long and fulfilling life. Given her unique story and appearance, she will probably be making a lot of new friends at her animal reserve in no time!
For more pictures of weird or rare animals, check out part1 and part 2 of our series on animals that you didn’t know existed.