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It's being called a "zedonk," an unusual cross between a donkey and a zebra.The foal -- nicknamed *Pippi Longstocking* -- was born last week at the Chestatee wildlife preserve in Georgia.
Donkeys and zebras don’t usually mate, but zedonks turn up occasionally. In 2005, a zebra gave birth to a zedonk in Barbados, according to the news website Science Daily. And in the 1970s, three zedonks were born at a European zoo to a donkey mother, according to the website of Britain’s Colchester Zoo.
So far she's healthy and doing fine, the AP reports, and as she grows she'll wander the 25-acre preserve with the other exotic animals who have been abandoned or rescued, including a camel, her parents, and a donkey half-sibling.
Originally posted by InfaRedMan
I always find these things fascinating. As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong) cross-breeds like these are sterile.
The chromosome difference makes female hybrids poorly fertile and male hybrids generally sterile due to a phenomenon called Haldane's Rule.
Haldane's rule relating to hybrids of species and extended to speciation in evolutionary theory is easily stated:
When in the offspring of two different animal races one sex is absent, rare, or sterile, that sex is the heterozygous (heterogametic) sex.