Say hello to Ippo.
No, not the Japanese manga boxer (after whom he’s no doubt named), but this little fella:
He’s a zonkey. Or a zebroid. Or a zorse. Or a zony.
Or a zemule. Or a zebonkey. Or even a zebronkey.
Or a zebadonk. Or a donkra.
Or…wait for it…
…a horbra! (Just don’t say that one out loud).
Except he’s not exactly that. A horbra (careful) is technically a cross between a horse and a zebra, whereas this guy is a cross between a donkey and a zebra. Basically, he’s a zebroid.
The neat thing about a donkey-zebra hybrid is that donkeys and zebras are fairly different genetically — donkeys have 62 chromosomes, whereas zebras have between 32 and 46 — so the idea they can cross-breed helps to highlight the universality of the biological basis to all animal life. There’s no guarantee of any offspring whenever a donkey and a zebra, erm, you know, try for a baby. In fact, the odds are quite low. But yet it does happen. More often than you’d think.
Ippo was born in an animal shelter in Florence, Italy, just 4 months ago. In reporting the news, the Daily Mirror wasn’t altogether comfortable drawing on the extensive available lexicon of zebroid terms. Ever the salacious tabloid, the Mirror decided to describe poor Ippo as something else. In the end, they went with…”accidental love child“.
Brian Hughes is an academic psychologist and university professor in Galway, Ireland, specialising in stress, health, and the application of psychology to social issues. He writes widely on the psychology of empiricism and of empirically disputable claims, especially as they pertain to science, health, medicine, and politics.