- Sheldrick Wildlife Trust discovered the unique foal after examining its stripes which were light and tawny
- The zonkey is a hybrid of a zebra and a donkey which the group said was conceived in May 2019 when the zebra mingled with a community's local herd
- Though the rare baby will lead a normal life, it will not breed successfully upon maturing
A zonkey, a hybrid of a zebra and a donkey, has been sighted at Chyulu Hills National Park.
A zebra from the park was found to have the rare offspring by a rescue group, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the foal's light and tawny stripes made the group marvel at its uniqueness.
According to SWT, the once stray zebra mingled with a local woman's cattle herd for many weeks in May 2019 after venturing out of Tsavo East National Park and she was later moved to Chyulu Hills National Park.
"While zebra foals are born with white and brown stripes that eventually turn black, this little one’s body was suspiciously light on stripes and overwhelmingly tawny in color.
"At first, we thought that it had just been wallowing in the mud bath, but then the truth dawned on us, our wayward zebra had given birth to a zonkey!" read a statement from the group.
A zebra's gestation period is 12 months and it was not difficult for the rescue to trace back her pregnancy to the time she lived among the cattle before being moved to Chyulu Hills National Park.
"During her time living within the community last year, she had obviously become acquainted with an amorous donkey," the statement read.
Though the hybrid will lead a normal life, it will not successfully breed upon maturing since it is a mule.
"The zonkey combines the sturdy body of its donkey sire and the striped legs of its zebra mother, which makes for a striking creature," the animal group said.
The rescue group further added that the baby zonkey and mama zebra were both in good shape and enjoyed grazing side by side while waiting for some wild zebra to discover them.
"Until that day comes, they seem quite content to spend their days grazing side-by-side, a sight that makes us all stop and marvel at the wonders of nature," the release read.
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