Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Z is for Zedonk

And last but not least, the letter Z.

About four years ago I wrote an article about these guys which appeared in Wee Ones, a children's ezine that unfortunately no longer exits.
There was a commemorative trail ride happening, and I saw a picture of them in the newspaper. I had never heard of zedonks let along seen one.
So I hunted down the owners, got an interview and pictures and wrote the following article.

Z is for Zedonk
by Bish Denham

Do you know what a zedonk is? If you guessed a cross between a zebra and donkey you would be right. A zedonk can also go by the name of zebrass, zebronkey, or zenkey. In South Africa they are called zonkeys. They are more common there because zebras and donkeys live in close proximity. Still, they are not usually found in the wild.

The first reported zedonk to have been bred was in 1971 at the Colchester Zoo in Essex, England. Like the mule, a cross between a horse and donkey, zedonks are sterile and cannot have babies.

Most zedonks have stripes only on their legs, with a few stripes around their faces and shoulders. A zedonk that has stripes all over its body is very rare.

Hammy and Ethel Boyd of Denton, Texas have three zedonks, two of them have full body stripes. Their father was a Grevy’s zebra, the largest member of the zebra family. The Boyd’s zedonks are between 14 and 15 hands tall. A hand is four inches. That makes them between four and half and five feet tall at the shoulder.

Zedonks are not known for their even temperament. They can be trained to be saddled and ridden or harnessed to pull wagons. But sometimes the wild nature of the zebra will come out of nowhere. They’re very unpredictable.

“You never know what they’re going to do,” said Mr. Boyd. “We’ll be working them, and maybe one of them will have a fit, jump up in the air, kick or lie down and then go right on. I’ve noticed that if there’s a big tree out about a thousand feet from you, it’ll start blowing little light snorts and it’ll go either left or right of that tree. They don’t like to go to a tree if it’s out in the open.” Could this be because the zebra in them thinks a predator may be lurking behind it?

Another thing that needs to be remembered is how to approach a zedonk. You can’t approach them from the side, like you can with a horse, mule or donkey. If you do they are likely to fight and kick. You have to approach a zedonk head on in a calm manner. But even then, you never can tell. One minute the zedonk might be just fine then, in the next, it might be throwing a fit.

“They’re wild, but then they’re gentle,” said Mr. Boyd. “They’re curious to anything out there. But you’ve got to know something about them. A greenhorn couldn’t go out there and do it.”

They are definitely a curiosity. Mrs. Boyd put it best. “They make good pasture ornaments.”
Then there's Ian Sands who has a fabulous art thing going on called Zonkey Projects. He's also the creator of Critter, who has been traveling around the world and visiting various blogs. Check out Critter links in the sidebar at right.

That's it folks. I have truly enjoyed the A to Z Challenge and appreciate all my Random Followers, old and NEW, for stopping by.
Tomorrow, the winners of my 100 Random Followers Drabble Contest will be announced!


  1. awww arent they cute. Isn't it amazing that a zebra and donkey will mate. I'm hoping to get a gheep from our ram and goat this year! :o)

  2. Adorable creatures and best name ever! Can't help but smile when you say 'zedonk!'

  3. Zedonk sounds like something you'd see in a comic book when someone is getting pummeled. Haha.

    Great word! You rock.

  4. Am I the only one who thinks those things are darn cute? Probably not.

  5. They are very interesting creatures, cute too! I am amazed at how they came about, how interesting of a tale.

    I can't wait for tomorrow's contest! I'm rooting for that pink flamingo bookmark of awesomeness!

  6. Great article Bish, thanks for sharing. Who knew there were zedonks in the world? I never did until now.

  7. Bish. YOu're like...a living encyclopedia! lol, I 've loved your posts during A-Z and serioulsy learned so much.

  8. They are cute, aren't they, Niki. I've never heard of gheep, but it wouldn't surprise me since there are things like ligers.

    I agree India!

    LOL, MissV! Take that! (Zedonk!)

    Matt, you aren't. I have a deep fondness for donkeys, so these guys are right up near the top of my list of things I think are cute.

    Thanks Jen. It was very hard judging the drabbles.

    Anne, I'm glad I was able to pass on a little more trivia!

    Oh! Thank you so much Creepy Girl. I have really enjoyed doing the challenge and am kind of sad it's over.

  9. Living in South Africa I've seen plenty of zebra, but I can't say I remember seeing a zedonk. I was aware of them, though. Imagine the identity crisis the poor things have. Is it a zebra? Is it a donkey?'s a ZEDONK!! ;)


  10. That is about one of the coolest things ever! I love zedonks now! You learn something new every day.

    The weird thing is, I've been to a lot of zoos, so I've bet I've seen these, but I have absolutely no memory of ever having seen them before.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!