Ippo the zonkey – the result of a zebra and donkey mating – was born in Florence, Italy, on Saturday and is doing well.

Ippo’s parents are a male zebra and female donkey. Though a fence separated them, the male zebra climbed over to the donkey’s side and impregnated her with Ippo. Ippo’s father was rescued from a failing zoo, and his mother is a member of an endangered breed of donkeys.

“Ippo is the only specimen of zonkey in Italy,” said farm owner Serena Aglietti. She added that other zonkeys have been seen in China, Germany and Georgia.

Ippo, like the Georgia-born zonkey Pippi, has the legs of a zebra and the fur of a donkey on his torso – though zebra stripes are visible below the fur. He appears to be good-natured as well, and not shy around humans.

While zebras and donkeys are able to mate together, their offspring tend to be unable to reproduce. "It's similar to when a female horse and a male donkey mate and give birth to a mule," said veterinarian Robert Benson, who cares for Pippi. While it’s not out of the question that Ippo may be able to one day produce offspring, the likelihood is very small.

As a zonkey, or zedonk, Ippo is a zebroid – the general name for animals that are hybrid-born from a zebra and another equine. Other zebroids include the zorse (zebra/horse) and the zony (zebra/pony mare).

— Ava Butler

Read more about: