A Zedonk? Zebra/Donkey Hybrid Born in Georgia Animal Preserve

By Bradley Blackburn

Jul 28, 2010 11:50am

ABC's Bradley Blackburn reports from New York. The baby animal above is not a zebra.  And it's not a donkey.  It's a zedonk. With a zebra father and a donkey mother, the animal has clear black and white stripes on its legs and the brown-haired body of a donkey. The eye-catching filly was born last Wednesday night at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in Dahlonega, Georgia, about 60 miles north of Atlanta. "She's absolutely beautiful," said Alison Womack, a volunteer at the preserve, adding that the foal is "fabulous, healthy, doing well." "We think we're going to name her Pippi, for Pippi Longstocking," said C.W. Wathen, the founder and general manager of the preserve.  "That's what she looks like — she's got socks on." The young zedonk is already on display at the preserve, being held in a pasture with her mother until she's mature enough to join the other animals on the 20 acre property.  Her head may not look like a zebra’s, but Wathen said the young foal has the brain of an animal from the African savanna. "She sits up, ready to go if anything happens.  She's got that wild instinct," he said. Though Wathen has let horses, zebras, and donkeys run together for decades, he said the birth was a complete surprise.  It's the first zedonk born on the preserve and only the second he's seen in over 40 years of caring for exotic animals. "When she had it, we noticed it had stripes, and we just couldn't believe it," Wathen said.  "We thought after momma cleaned it, it would be different.  But it never was." He hopes that the unusual birth will bring more visitors to his non-profit zoo, a refuge for exotic animals abandoned by owners who don't know how to care for them. Zebra-donkey crosses are rare but aren't unheard of.  A foal named Alex, offspring of a Zebra mother and a donkey father, was born in Barbados in 2005.

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