A Crimean zoo has a new addition after the recent birth of a zonkey named Telegraph. Telegraph is a cross between its zebra mother and donkey father. The zonkey is already a popular attraction at the zoo, but not everyone’s happy about it.
Some critics say cross-breeding animals like this is not the purpose of a zoo. Anna Kachurovskaya of the Moscow Zoo calls the practice unjustified and unscientific, adding that it’s not something that happens at “civilized zoos.” Kachurovshaya says one of the primary purposes of a zoo is to preserve wild species.
But Oleg Zubkov of the private and apparently uncivilized Crimean zoo where Telegraph was born said the breeding occurred as a result of Telegraph’s parents’ “affection for one another.” Telegraph’s mother, a zebra, was unhappy in her own enclosure according to Zubkov, so at the advice of other zoologists, they moved her into an enclosure with other hooved animals. Zubkov says she took a liking to the donkey. Next thing you know, boom, baby zonkey.
Zonkey’s aren’t unheard of, and cross-breeding similar horse-type animals happens, but it does raise an ethical question of the zoos where such breeding takes place. Should zoos be producing zonkeys? What about zeagles? Zebears? Zengaroos?
(via TKTKTKTK, image via TKTKTKTK)
- Brazil has some kind of porcupine monkey
- Here’s a liliger, a liger (lion/tiger hybrid) crossed with another lion
- Praise Cthulhu these insect/mollusk hybrids aren’t real