Zonkeys, also known as Donkra or Zebroid, are extremely rare as zebras and donkeys rarely mate.
Seen below is Mona Lisa, a Zonkey, who is also a beloved family pet. She has been brought up by her doting owner, Mara Baygulova, an internationally renowned opera singer and cellist from Glendale, California. Mara took Mona Lisa in after rescuing her from a lonely and abused life on a ranch run by a horse trainer who had no idea she was so special.
Researchers say that most Zonkeys live in zoos and most of them, outside South Africa, were created through artificial insemination.
Mara said: 'Mona Lisa is very smart just like a Zebra. In personality, she is 90 per cent zebra. She loves to run and gallop with horses. She's very competitive.'
She added: 'Her intelligence is that of a five year-old child. She retains information - she can see something done just once and then do it herself.
'For example, when we first got her she watched me unlock the gate on the corral. A few minutes later she did it on her own, using her lips like fingers.
'She also loves affection and is generous in giving affection, but she can get bratty if she doesn't get it!'
Mara brought the zonkey home for her son's fifth birthday, who had grown up on the stories of her Mother's childhood pet, a donkey also named Mona Lisa.
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