The Zorse and other Hybrid Animals
Genetically similar animals can sometimes create a new offspring
We've all heard of a mule (the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse) and maybe even the hinny (the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey). The donkey and horse may have naturally bred at first to form these offspring, but what about other hybrid animals that wouldn't normally meet up with each other?
Take the Zorse (the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse). A horse and zebra don't naturally meet up together, so human involvement was necessary to introduce these two animals. The picture features Eclyse whose parents actually met at a place that had zebras and horses roaming together. See article here
Humans have created many forms of hybrid animals (cross-breds of animals with similar genetic makeup that mostly exist in captivity because of the human intervention). Most of these off-spring are sterile.
Naming a hybrid usually starts with the father (aka sire) and ends with the mother. So a Zorse is a male Zebra and a female horse. Some hybrids have their own unique name (like the mule), while others apply to both regardless of what the mother or father are.
This lens will show many of the types that exist. I find this interesting. i don't know why. It's just fascinating to see what they look like and why they were created at all.
Meet the Zebroid Family
Zebroid is the generic name for all zebra hybrids. In other words zebras crossed with any other equine (like horses and donkeys)
Zorse- offspring of a male zebra and a female horse (aka zebrula, zebrule, zebra mule or golden zebra)
Hebra- offspring of a male horse and a female zebra (much rarer than a zorse)
Zony- offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare. Those Zebras crossed with Shetland ponies are called Zetlands.
Zebret- offspring of a female zebra and a male donkey (aka zebrinny)
Zedonk- offspring of a male zebra and a female donkey (aka zonkey)
A Zorse can be 2 to 3 times stronger than a horse. In the 19th century the South African government actually sponsored the breeding of these to create a stronger animal for carrying goods. For more info on these click on the images below.
Zony- click image for photo owner
Zebret- click image for larger photo image source
Zedonk- click image for photo owner
Ligers and Tigons and Leopons oh my!
The Big cat family. What's interesting is that female big cat hybrids are commonly fertile, but the males are not (except sometimes the leopon). The mating of these different big cats is rare in the wild, but can happen when captive pairs live together and form a bond.
- Liger- offspring of a male lion and a female tiger (these are the most common and well known)
- Tigon- offspring of a male tiger and a female lion (much rarer than a Liger)
- Leopon- offspring of a male leopard and a female lion (very rare as a female lion would rather kill the leopard than mate with him)
- Lipard- offspring of a female leopard and a male lion (aka liard)
- Jaglion- offspring of a male jaguar and a female lion
- Liguar- offspring of a male lion and a female jaguar
- Tigard- this would be offspring of a male tiger and female leopard. Attempts to breed these have resulted in still born babies
- Dogla- this would be offspring of a male leopard and female tiger. Attempts to breed these have resulted in still born babies
- Tiguar- the offspring of a male tiger and female jaguar. Reports say that one birth occurred in the Altiplano Zoo in Mexico.
- Jagger- this would be offspring of a male jaguar and female tiger. Attempts to breed these have resulted in still born babies
- Jagupard- the offspring of a male jaguar and a female leopard (aka jagulep or jagleop).
- Leguar- the offspring of a male leopard and a female jaguar (aka lepjag)
As mentioned above a female hybrid can be fertile. There are cases when this offspring has mated and produced babies. The known ones are the Lijagulep (the offspring of a male lion and a female jagupard), Leoliguar (the offspring of a female liguar and a male leopard), Leoligulor (the offspring of that occaionaly fertile male leopon and a female lion)
Click on the images to go to the websites containing these pictures and info
Other Wild Cat Hybrids
Here are some other wildcat hybrid names that I found interesting.
- Pumapard- offspring of a male puma and a female leopard or female puma and male leopard- both share the same name. Three sets of these hybrids were bred in the 1890's and early 1900's
- Blynx- offspring of a male lynx and a female bobcat (or other way around) (aka lynxcat)
- Ocebob- offspring of an ocelot and a bobcat (aka Bobelot)
Pumapard- click image for website photo owner
Blynx- click image for website article
Ocebob- click image for website photo owner and article
Other Fun Hybrids worth Mentioning
Here are some other hybrid names that I found interesting.
- Cama- offspring of a male Arabian camel and a female llama- first produced via artificial insemination in 1998 at the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai. They wanted the strength of a camel but the temperament and wool production of the llama.
- Grolar- offspring of a male grizzly and a female polar bear (aka aknuk from the Inuit names) . Though usually occurring in zoos, in 2006 one was found in the wild.Check out this article for more info. If the female is the grizzly and the male is the polar bear, the term pizzy, polizzly, or nanulak is used.
- Wolphin or Wholphin- offspring of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale. The only known wolphin (Kekaimalu) was born in 1985 at Sea Life Park. Click here for more details. This wolphin was actually fertile and had babies.Click here and here for more details.
- Beefalo- offspring of domestic cattle and the American Bison (aka Buffalo) There is even an American Beefalo Association
Click here for a list of Hybrid animals (scroll to the mid-section when you get there)
Cama- click image for website photo owner
Grolar- click image for more types of hybrid bears
Wolphin- click image for website photo owner and article
Beefalo- click image for website photo owner