Amazing Zebra hybrids go on show at Huttoft

Pictured are the Zeedonks at Huttoft Donkey Sanctuary. Photo by John Crossland.
Pictured are the Zeedonks at Huttoft Donkey Sanctuary. Photo by John Crossland.
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VISITORS will be left stunned by the sight of these two rare hybrids which have set up home at a nearby animal sanctuary.

With their distinct stripped legs and unusual features, there is certainly something different about Tigger and Humbug, compared to the other residents at Huttoft’s Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary.

In fact, this friendly duo aren’t quite what they seem, as they’re not quite donkeys or even fully zebras but a mix of the two!

The rare pair, also half brothers, were born in Holland in May 2009, just 12 days apart after a 10 year relationship between a large stallion donkey and two wild Grant’s Zebras.

“This type of hybrid is very rare and they’re called zeedonks, the other cross is known as a zonkey,” said the sanctuary’s Andrew Rae.

“This is where, the mother is a donkey and the father a zebra. Both hybrids are infertile, so can’t reproduce.

“They take most of their characteristics from their mother and their senses are very acute.”

Tigger and Humbug were imported to England in 2010 and remained wild, living at a farm park that closed soon after.

The siblings then came to live at the sanctuary in September 2011 where their rebellious nature provided staff with a challenge.

But in the last six months both have calmed down and love the company of the resident donkeys despite their rehabilitation taking some time.

Tracy Garton, sanctuary owner, said: “We are very proud to have two of what we think are only three or four zeedonks in the whole of the United Kingdom. They are beautiful animals. The markings on them are fantastic.

“Their painted eyelashes and zebra legs really are stunning to look at and their movements are amazing when they gallop round the field playing and kicking up their heels.

“These really are donkeys with a difference.”

The sanctuary is home to 28 donkeys, four horses, three Shetland ponies, ducks, chickens, sheep and now two zeedonks.

Any donations towards their upkeep are gratefully received, as the site is run completely by volunteers. To donate, or for enquiries, call 07940 146330.