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This article is from
Creation 41(3):56, July 2019

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Zippy ‘zonkey’



When Kristine Turner, of Somerset, UK, woke up one morning recently, she got a big surprise. She hadn’t realized that her six-year-old zebra Ziggy had become pregnant to one of the donkeys sharing the same field. “Ziggy has always been a bit porky so I didn’t notice she was getting any bigger. … [But then] I opened my bedroom curtains, which look onto the farm, and I just saw this little foal sitting up staring my way. I was in complete shock. I ran downstairs in my PJs, put a coat on and went over to see him.”1,2

The foal has the torso of a donkey, but with very evident zebra stripes running down his legs. He has something of a wild zebra’s temperament, as he’ll “nip and kick … [and then] he’ll dash off.” His name ‘Zippy’ is certainly fitting, Kristine says, but added that he has “calmed down a bit now as he lets me brush him.”

Media reports referred to Zippy as being a ‘zonkey’, although that term for a zebra-donkey hybrid is usually reserved for the offspring of a zebra stallion and donkey mare. Zippy more technically is a donkra. Zonkeys and donkras, along with numerous other examples of the various Equus species interbreeding (e.g. mules, hinnies, hebras, zorses, zonies) point to them all being descended from the same original ‘kind’ created on Day 6 of Creation Week (Genesis 1:24–25).

Thus ‘kind’ is not the same as the modern construct ‘species’, indicating Noah needed far fewer animals than skeptics like to claim. The Ark needed to carry only one male and one female of the equine kind.3 Probably at least one of that pair would have had stripes.4 That’s because it can take only a few generations for zebras to progressively lose stripes, whereas non-striped Equus apparently cannot gain stripes unless a striped equine is (re-)introduced into the breeding population—just as Ziggy and Zippy show.

References and notes

  1. Loveridge-Green, O., Rare cross between donkey and zebra known as ‘zonkey’ born on Somerset farm; independent.co.uk, 5 November 2018. Return to text.
  2. Meet Zippy, Britain’s second donkey, zebra crossbreed ‘zonkey’; msn.com, 6 November 2018. Return to text.
  3. Assuming that Noah understood ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ (Genesis 7:2) the same way that God later decreed to Moses (Leviticus 11:2–3,26; Deuteronomy 14:6), only one pair of ‘horses’, not seven, were needed. Return to text.
  4. Assuming that Noah understood ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ (Genesis 7:2) the same way that God later decreed to Moses (Leviticus 11:3–4,26; Deuteronomy 14:6), only one pair of ‘horses’, not seven, were needed. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments

Presently they are spending a lot of money on de-extincting the Quagga. Maybe we just need to do some selective cross breeding to get them back. This Zonkey looks just about a close as we can get to a domesticated zebra look.
Raymond S.
Will the hybrid be fertile?
Lita Cosner
We don't know. There are often fertility problems with hybrids, and the fertility problems are more common with male hybrids. But we don't have any information about this particular hybrid's fertility.
Gina T.
I really like the simple, easy to understand way that David Catchpoole writes, and how in this article there is graphic visual evidence coupled with nice basic language to explain the need for only one equine pair on the ark. This article is really helpful to me because when I'm explaining the reason for the hope that is in me, not only does it need to be done with 'meekness and fear', but also with simplicity! Thank you!

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