Part Zebra and part Donkey named Ippo, a rare mix was born in an animal reserve in Florence, Italy, on Monday. According to officials, Ippo is very active and playful and has soft hair, zebra paws, ears and muzzle donkey.
The zonkey is the foal of an endangered donkey breed from Amiata and a zebra that was adopted by the center after it was confiscated from a failing zoo.
“Ippo is the only one of his kind in Italy,” Serena Aglietti said.
Though reportedly there are other zonkeys in Germany, China and Georgia.
Ippo was not bread intentionally, but is the love child of Martin the zebra climbing over his fence to find Jade the donkey, the reserve managers said.
The only down side, since zebras and donkeys are two different species of horses, their DNA and genetics don’t match up. While the animals grow up healthy, they often aren’t able to make offspring of their own.
“It’s similar to when a female horse and a male donkey mate and give birth to a mule,” said Robert Benson, a veterinarian who performed check ups and vaccinations on Pippi in her early years. Though there are records of mules successfully mating, the majority are sterile.
Pippi, another zonkey, was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve in near Dahlonega, Georgia, in 2010. The hybrid has shown characteristics of her dad and her mom, CNN reports.
According to her owner, Pippi looks like a donkey on top, but makes zebra sounds when she opens her mouth.
C.W. Wathen, the owner of the animal preserve, reports she’s in good health. “She’s doing fine,” Wathen told ABC News. She’s easily spotted in a herd, with a light brown coat on most of her body but striped legs. However, she blends in socially with the other animals. “She’s still like a child, so she just runs and plays around,” said Wathen. “The other animals treat her like a member of the herd.”