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Zonkey, rare zebra-donkey hybrid, born in Mexican zoo

Biologists had originally thought zebra and donkey chromosomes to be incompatible.
By Brooks Hays   |   April 25, 2014 at 3:16 PM   |   Comments

REYNOSA, Mexico, April 25 (UPI) -- A rare but adorable cross-breed was introduced to the world this week at a zoo in Reynosa, Mexico.

Khumba is the lovechild of Rayas, a female zebra, and Ignacio, a blue-eyed albino donkey. That makes Khumba a zonkey, one of only a few in the world.

Though there are now living specimens of zonkeys at zoos in the U.S., Japan, China and elsewhere, biologists had originally thought zebra and donkey chromosomes were incompatible.

But apparent genetic incongruity didn't stop Rayas and Ignacio from trying. According to WTVY, the two visited each other almost every afternoon. Finally, a several months ago, Rayas became pregnant.

If Ippo, a zonkey born last year in Florence, Italy, is any indication, Khuma and the Reynosa Zoo can expect an influx of visitors in the coming months.

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